A MAJOR overhaul of the iconic Railway Hotel pub has been unveiled as the brewery behind the business plans to bring it back into use.

The pub, in Clifftown Road, was arguably one of Southend’s most famous pubs but closed during the Covid pandemic due to the “almost un-tradable circumstances”.

Since closing in 2020, it has remained vacant, despite campaigns to have it registered as a community asset and protected.

Star Pubs and Bars, which owns the pub, has now revealed new plans about a “significant refurbishment” which will “breathe a new lease of life into this pub” as they hunt for a new independent operator to run the business.

The plans state: “Star Pubs and Bars investment will allow for an all-new bar to be installed, new seating, kitchen, and ‘instagrammable’ features.

“Additionally, there will be new lighting throughout the pub and complete refurbishment to all toiles.

“Externally, the pub will receive a full redecoration which will include new signage and lighting (subject to planning approval).

“There will also be new covered drinking areas, and a new stage area for live music.”

Former English guitarist Wilko Johnson and one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century David Bowie had been known to previously attend the pub regularly.

In 2007, Southend musician Dave Dulake and his wife Fiona Dulake, oversaw a £50,000 refurbishment and successfully run the pub for almost 13 years before it was put up for sale.

The couple were delighted to hear about plans to re-open the pub.

Dave said: “The Railway Hotel is a much loved, much missed pub.

“Having spent almost the last decade and a half there, seeing it closed has left a big hole in our lives, and in the heart of the community which supported it so faithfully during our tenure.

“I would welcome any development of this pub as a live music venue and would shake the hand of anyone willing to take on a building of this size in the current financial climate.

“I certainly would be up for playing there, that is for sure.”

A spokesman for Star Pubs and Bars added: “We have plans for a major refurbishment of the pub to include interior and exterior redecoration and a new commercial kitchen to allow the pub to offer food once a new operator is recruited.

“Anyone interested in finding out more should contact Star Pubs & Bars on 08085 94 95 96 or visit www.starpubs.co.uk.”