A POPULAR pub at the heart of the Benfleet community is set to open today after more than £100,000 was spent on the refurbishment.

The Zach Willsher pub, Church Road, owned by Greene King, closed on July 30 to undergo a significant makeover, with a six-figure budget.

The pub will employ another three people to work at the improved social hotspot which it is hoped will prove even more popular with punters.

Yvonne Worby, general manager at the Zach Willsher Greene King pub, said: “The Zach Willsher is at the heart of the Benfleet community, so we are excited to be able to offer a place for locals to enjoy a drink or enjoy a meal in enhanced surroundings. We’re really excited and look forward to welcoming our Benfleet neighbours to the revamped venue when it officially opens today.”

Staff and special guests were due to attend last night for a VIP pre-opening party.

Ms Worby added: “Guests can still enjoy their favourite dishes and we look forward to welcoming them.”

Built in 1979 and taking its name from a beer trader at a nearby market, the Zach Willsher has earned a strong reputation in the community as a place to watch big sporting events.

As well as a impressive new bar area and a lighter, more contemporary colour scheme, the pub has been equipped with a number of brand new super-sized television screens complete with full sports coverage.

The pub will retain its popular menu, with an extensive list of offerings from all-day roast dinners every Sunday to lighter bites to share over a drink.

Greene King operate almost 3,000 pubs, restaurants, and hotels across the UK, including many in south Essex, and employs around 40,000 people.