A POPULAR former Stourbridge pub is set to reopen with a new lease of life – 15 months after closing at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Katie Fitzgerald’s cellar bar has undergone a huge rebuild and refurbishment during the coronavirus crisis, having closed back on March 15 last year when the first lockdown began.

Now it will return solely as an entertainments venue from Friday July 2. The former ground floor part of the pub is being converted into living space for the owners, Eddy and Trina Morton.

Folk-punk band Millie Manders will mark the reopening by playing on the first night back, after a small invite-only return party on Sunday June 20.

A packed programme of events is to follow, with the highlight being the annual Comedy Festival, which will run from August 7 until September 18, featuring top TV comedians including Ed Byrne, Rich Hall, Sean Walsh and Hal Cruttenden.

It is anticipated Katies will be open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights, possibly extending to Thursdays at a later date.

Shows will be admission by ticket only.

Eddy said: “It’s like we’re starting all over again!

“A huge amount of work has gone into rebuilding and restructuring the cellar bar, including a new entrance off Mamble Road – there is nothing really left people will recognise from before.

“It is important for people to realise we will be solely an entertainments venue – not a pub like before – and admission will only be by ticket.”

The venue has also been attracting huge attention thanks to a wall mural on Mamble Road, which features a ‘3D’ portrayal of Eddy up a ladder painting the outside of the building.

Stourbridge News: The mural on the side of Katie's - depicting Eddy Morton painting the wallThe mural on the side of Katie's - depicting Eddy Morton painting the wall

It is the work of ‘extreme painter’ David Johnson, who usually spends his time painting and drawing mountains on locations in all sorts of bad weather conditions.

Eddy added: “It was Trina’s idea to get David in – there used to be a similar mural in Erdington, where she is from, and she thought it would be a good idea to recreate something similar – so they decided it should be a painting of me up the ladder!”

For more details on forthcoming shows, and to book tickets, visit the Katie Fitzgerald’s Facebook page.