A NEW pub has opened after an abandoned Grade II listed building was given a £1.6million refurbishment.

Pub operator JD Wetherspoon opened Parson’s Barn, on Frobisher Way, Shoebury, yesterday, with the help of the mayor of Southend, councillor Brian Kelly.

Architects KD Paine and Associates designed the new look of the building, which features a bar, an open fire place, a free-standing glass mezzanine area and two large beer gardens at the front and back of the building.

The restoration has been given the seal of approval by local councillors.

Anne Chalk, a Shoebury councillor, said: “I think it’s really good, especially because it’s Wetherspoons, which gives exceptionally nice meals at a good price.

“It’s good to see this historic building being restored. It’s part of Shoebury’s heritage, and a lovely building.”

Shoebury councillor Mike Assenheim added: “Although I’m not into pubs myself, I’m pleased the wreck of an old building has finally been transformed into a new pub for the community to use.”

Local photos, commissioned artwork and information boards relating to the history of the area are displayed around the pub.

There is a feature artwork on the chimney stack showing Emerald moths, to highlight the discovery of the Essex emerald moth by Christopher Parsons, whose family built Parson’s Barn.

The new pub, which has created 52 jobs in the area, will be managed by Anne-Marie Maguire.

She said: “Myself and my team are looking forward to welcoming customers into the pub and we are confident it will be a great addition to the Shoebury community.”

Parson’s Barn will specialise in real ales, serving a wide range of beers, including those from local and regional brewers.

It will be open from 8am until 11pm Sunday to Wednesday, 8am until midnight on Thursday and 8am until 12.30am on Fridays and Saturdays.

The Wetherspoon chain runs 880 pubs nationwide, including the Last Post, in Southend, and the Elms, in Leigh.