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Exclusive: Paul Heaton Takes Over Kings Arms, Salford

Simon Binns Finds The Ex-Beautiful South/ Housemartins Front Man Is Becoming A Landlord

Published on November 29th 2011.


Exclusive: Paul Heaton Takes Over Kings Arms, Salford

GUESS WHAT? Musician Paul Heaton has bought the lease to The Kings’ Arms Pub in Salford. 

“It’s a bit of a fractured community around the pub, with city centre flats on one side and Salford houses on the other so we want to try and bring those people together a bit more.” 

The Beautiful South and ex-House Martins frontman told Confidential he’s even planning to play the first date of his second UK pub tour – which starts next May – in the backstreet boozer. 

It was more a move of convenience than a burning desire to be a pub landlord though. “I rehearse in the room upstairs a lot and my partner, Xena is in theatre, and she uses the building too. 

Paul Heaton

“We heard John and Jo were considering selling up and so we thought hard about it. We were fans of the pub and it was just too good a chance to miss.” 

Heaton is bringing in former Silver Apples gaffer Rob Loader to manage the place although he told Confidential he’s had to sit an exam covering the licensing trade. “I’m not sure if I’ve passed yet,” he said. “I did plenty of revision but Rob’s going to come in and get us up and running. 

“We’ve not really come into it with any business plan and I wasn’t looking for a pub especially. It just came along and we wanted to take it on.” 

He’s got plans to change a few things though and put his stamp on the place. “I’ve got my eyes on the jukebox and Walkers crisps are now officially banned,” he said. ”I’ve been in touch with KP, Tyrell’s and Seabrooks; smaller operators. 

“I’m desperately trying to get Seabrooks to bring back spring onion flavour, and there’s a chance they might revive it to coincide with my tour. So if you want a bag, you’ll have to pay £15 for a gig ticket.” 

Confidential thinks it’s worth it.

 “I just want to give the pub a little lift,” he said. “John’s got quite a bit of stuff in there so that will go with him when he leaves, but we’re not going to change or move the clubs that are already there, like the knitting group. 

“We’ll keep the live theatre upstairs and we’d quite like to get a radio station up there. 

“It’s a bit of a fractured community around the pub, with city centre flats on one side and Salford houses on the other so we want to try and bring those people together a bit more.” 

Heaton will be in and out of the pub but says he’s off drink at the moment, so will be ‘a sober landlord.’ But he’ll be on site and on hand. “I’ll be spending a fair bit of time there,” he said. “You’ve got to support the business.” 

The first date in the calendar is a Christmas Fayre on December 18, and Heaton might end up doing a few numbers. 

“I might end the pub tour there as well,” he said. “I’ve got to sort the crisps out first though.”

You can follow Simon Binns at @SimonBinns

Kings ArmsKings Arms

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56 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

paulNovember 29th 2011.

I like walkers crisps

Chester WhelksNovember 30th 2011.

Yeah, there's nothing wrong with the Jukebox either. The King's Arms is currently an integral part in the Cultural regeneration of Salford, I really hope they don't mess it up. Oh, and keep Giles behind the bar. THIS COMMENT HAS BEEN EDITED DUE TO COMMENTS OF A PERSONAL NATURE. EDITORIAL

TommyNovember 30th 2011.

Yet another Salford pub lost to a money grabber, what does he know about Salford?
The most expensive tickets will soon follow.
Fractured? Well it will be now he has it.
What a complete joke and no doubt a good earner for Jo before Xmas.
That was years ago a real pub. Used by people from Salford.
Salford slowly losing its true soul.
Personally I for one do not welcome you Mr Heaton.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousDecember 2nd 2011.

Rose tinted twaddle Tommy! The Kings is a great pub because people come from all over and from all walks of life to use it...don't continue the myth that there's something different in the blood of Salford folk compared to Manchester folk or indeed Hull folk!! Its personality not birthplace that matters

shaunacNovember 30th 2011.

Don't change the Kings Arms please Mr Heaton. We all love it the way it is, full of charm and character....although a few more toilets wouldn;t go a miss!!!

See you there soon

2 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousDecember 24th 2014.

it's not what it was. Get yourself down the eagle

AnonymousJanuary 25th 2015.

How so anon above?

trinityboyNovember 30th 2011.

Sounds interesting, always good to see some new ideas. And if people who live in Salford drink in there (as they do) then it's being used by people from Salford, isn't it?

Not that people from 200 yards away in Manchester aren't welcome, as their money is well spent here.

LeeNovember 30th 2011.

I agree with Tommy!!
Salford is a great city, the signs are already there for the pub to be given " a lift " wtf, how many of the staff will be from Salford? What will happen to all the " local " band nights that have took place over the last few years?
They will be replaced by acts not from the local area!!
with the entry to the venue going through the roof.
Bad move.

JulieNovember 30th 2011.

“I’m desperately trying to get Seabrooks to bring back spring onion flavour, and there’s a chance they might revive it to coincide with my tour. So if you want a bag, you’ll have to pay £15 for a gig ticket.”

Sounds like a sinking ship already.

AnonymousNovember 30th 2011.

good on him for not letting it get turned into another weatherspoons or run down hole !

.... I agree about the crisps !

2 Responses: Reply To This...
Alex24November 20th 2013.

The Waterhouse in St Peter's Square is one of the best pubs in the entire city centre...

Alex24November 20th 2013.

(it's a spoons)

AnonymousNovember 30th 2011.

"Anonymous30 minutes ago. good on him for not letting it get turned into another weatherspoons or run down hole !

.... I agree about the crisps !"

Keep it local!!!!!!

What next ? Men in black suits on the door keeping out the locals and promoting south Manchester-ness... God forbid!

Peter JenkinsNovember 30th 2011.

I have to agree with most of the comments on here. The kings arms is in Salford. Salfordians are very proud , as the saying goes " if it aint broke etc " As a comment above mentions, will the staff be from Salford? Local bands? etc etc. Can Paul Heaton respond himself?
That would be a good thing.

Mademoiselle-Yvette La Plus-Fabuleuse shared this on Facebook on November 30th 2011.
Mademoiselle-Yvette La Plus-Fabuleuse shared this on Facebook on November 30th 2011.
AnonymousNovember 30th 2011.

Did you commenters read the words in this article? The only mention of change was:
“I just want to give the pub a little lift. John’s got quite a bit of stuff in there so that will go with him when he leaves, but we’re not going to change or move the clubs that are already there, like the knitting group."

Some of the interior decorations are owned by the outgoing landlord so they need replacing. That's all he said.

That and he's going to update the crisps and the music, and Paul Heaton knows a fair bit about both.

Paul HeatonNovember 30th 2011.

Just to reply to the above. We have no intentions of changing anything other than what we have to. The staff are integral, so they'll stay. The contents of the jukebox go with Jo and Jon, so we'll just have to replace it with the help and ideas of Phil and Giles and other regular staff. As for the money grabber from outside Salford- the prices won't be going up, the pub is already working with Save Salford [https://www.facebook.com/groups/savesalford/] to keep it from becoming another extension of Manchester, and most of all, I'm a middle aged man who hates trendy bars and their muppet clientele. Too many of the pubs I've drunk in down the years have been ruined by 'money grabbers'. This pub will remain the same! Cheers P. Heaton

1 Response: Reply To This...
Sue LewisNovember 30th 2011.

Great response Paul, so good to hear some things will stay the same. Good luck with your new venture. My first post on here ever............its just full of moaning bu**ers so offering you some support!

AnonymousNovember 30th 2011.

Fair play Paul. Don't be put off by the reception above.

The comments are without grounds as far as I can see and quite ironic given your recent efforts to support local pubs.

"Money grabbers" tend not to take on pubs in Salford and instead sit back counting PRS cheques....

Peter JenkinsNovember 30th 2011.

Thanks Paul.

Good to hear you are helping Salford fly the flag!

A few other volunteer groups doing good for Salford on the live music scene promoting new Salford bands could do with a helping hand, include ting n ting (based at the cresent) salford music festival (grayso & eddie b) helmets for men ( Tony T).
Really means a lot to salford people as there are not many good pubs left.

Good Luck

Peter

AnonymousNovember 30th 2011.

Walkers crisps are good for me. Seabrookes i'm not so sure. Don't go down the "trendy" crisp route Paul, "organic" , "all natural" , "traditional recipe" and "sea salt" phrases on the bag and they weren't cheap i can tell you. never have i been so disappointed by a pack of crisps. words cannot express how unpleasant i found them to be , i could barely finish the bag! has anyone else tried these IMO truly awful crisps?

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousNovember 30th 2011.

I agree. And God help us if I see any "cup cakes" (or Fairy Cakes as they are properly called in Britain),in the Kings Arms, like at Rob Loaders previous place Saucy Apples. Delicious bacon thats what we want in a pub and pickled eggs.

AnonymousNovember 30th 2011.

Paul there is nothing wrong with walkers crisps, Seabrookes i'm not so sure when its '"organic" , "all natural" , "traditional recipe" and "sea salt" phrases on the bag and they aren't cheap i can tell you. never have i been so disappointed by a pack of crisps. words cannot express how unpleasant i found them to be , i could barely finish the bag! has anyone else tried these IMO truly awful crisps?

1 Response: Reply To This...
Paul HeatonDecember 5th 2011.

Right you're barred Anonymous!

Simon TurnerNovember 30th 2011.

Can't believe how quick some people are to knock this news with all this Salford this Salford that, how small-minded can you be?! Before you've even moved-in! Good luck Paul and your team.

Tina ParkesNovember 30th 2011.

Goodluck with the pub. Salford people are the salt of the earth with pride and passion. Not small minded. Just worried.
See you soon

X

AnonymousNovember 30th 2011.

This is Paul Heaton we're talking about not Duncan from Blue. He's not exactly gonna turn it into a wine bar is he?! And the nights Rob Loader put on were local musicians playing Bert Jansch not exactly £20 on the door kinda stuff. What is all this "local" crap anyway? What would be wrong with a pub in Salford aspiring to get interesting bands from around the world and as many boozers from across the Mcr border as possible? Looks like not a lot will change other than a new injection of energy and i for one will be heading down and wish them all the best with it

Alison BlackNovember 30th 2011.

Love how everyone's ranting about crisps!! ;0P On that note, the best range I know of is Pipers, they're based in Lincolnshire, one of the reasons I drink in Titchy Coffee, only place I've found that sells them!! I live in Model Lodging House across the road so I'm sure I'll be in. PLEASE dont get rid of the German beers!!!

AnonymousNovember 30th 2011.

There is no way paul Heaton would change it to some bland generic "trendy" bar: this is great news. Well done, looking forward to a pint there soon.

AnonymousNovember 30th 2011.

Whats wrong with " local " ? No one wants the pub to lose its I.D as a good local pub. At least he respects that!

AnonymousNovember 30th 2011.

I am a regular beer guzzler in the Kings and I love this pub.

Welcoming back some of the old locals might break even between them and the pretentious twonks that drink there too. It's always entertaining to watch. But keep the krombacher and maybe a few more good beers wouldn't hurt. , keep the pumps clean, keep the beer flowing, sort out the loos and for goodness sake OPEN ON A SUNDAY.
Doing this while keeping the pubs charm and identity, without some dodgy student programmes or hiring mitch benn and his 5 year old jokes to keep it going!! Come on Heaton show us what you got.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
JennyDecember 1st 2011.

We didn't hire mitch Benn he just turned up, and as for that dodgy student programme that kept us open during hard times... You don't know the half of it...

AnonymousDecember 2nd 2011.

The Kings Arms is an institution as it is which I think is what's woprrying people. Pretentious people in there? Possibly - but aslo the complete oposite and theres always a good mix of all kinds. Besides, it houses a theatre and artists studios and gets most of its trade from these types so pretentious or not its them who have probably kept it open for so long. I can guarantee one thing though - if the jukebox isnt heavy on The Fall there will be outrage from most of the regulars.

AnonymousDecember 1st 2011.

I am originally from Salford..been gone years. I am trying to place exatctly where the Kings Arms is located....I was thinking it was near the Flat Iron area??

1 Response: Reply To This...
Sue LeesDecember 1st 2011.

It's Bloom St, off Chapel Street. Er if I remember correctly, as you're going into Manc from Salford turn left rather than going right towards Salford station.

AnonymousDecember 1st 2011.

ohmygod, it's packets of crisps, get over it.

Probably more concerned with the beer than the crisps.

Good Luck Mr Heaton, hope it goes well.

Vickie O'DellDecember 1st 2011.

Lovely, a private owned pub staying open. With so many privately owned ones closing due to loss of business I think it's great.

Steve DDecember 1st 2011.

we ran the twisted wheel scooter club from there back in the 70's, it would be great to have a TWSC reunion for all the soulmods, good luck with the venture.

AnonymousDecember 1st 2011.

hear, hear vickie o'dell!

suebroDecember 2nd 2011.

glad to hear its re-opening and can't wait to visit it...good luck for the future and lets keep it real..x

StephenDecember 2nd 2011.

Nice pub, though I must admit that I've not been in for quite a while now. Don't know if it was just strange timing, but whenever I used to call in there was always some bloke who insisted on telling people that he was Ian Curtis' cousin, whilst gazing into his stout. Might call back in for a pint?

Helen CrosbieDecember 2nd 2011.

Seabrooks crisps = quality and not in an overpriced ridiculous way. Especially cream cheese and spring onion. Isn't Paul Heaton a crisp expert? I remember him quoting the post codes of crisp manufacturers on TFI Friday.....Good luck to him but please keep the mirror room. And get more toilets.

AnonymousDecember 2nd 2011.

Paul Heaton cycled nearly 800 miles last year to highlight the scandal of the number of traditional British pubs that were being forced to close. This looks like him going a step further in that cause, putting his money where his mouth is, and ensuring another one is not added to the list. Anyone who thinks he's going to turn it into a poncy wine bar obviously hasn't been paying attention!

Jared SzpakowskiDecember 2nd 2011.

The Kings Arms is an institution as it is which I think is what's woprrying people. Pretentious people in there? Possibly - but aslo the complete oposite and theres always a good mix of all kinds. Besides, it houses a theatre and artists studios and gets most of its trade from these types so pretentious or not its them who have probably kept it open for so long. I can guarantee one thing though - if the jukebox isnt heavy on The Fall there will be outrage from most of the regulars.

Chester WhelksDecember 2nd 2011.

Jared distilled my original fears - Kings Arms Jukebox = The Fall. Get that right and I'm fine...though i'm probably already barred after my inaugural misgivings.

AnonymousDecember 6th 2011.

Anybody else noticed that all those comments by 'Anonymous' are by Heaton?? So transparent!

Peter BithellDecember 7th 2011.

Mr Heaton, Can I have a show on your radio station please? I have been doing community radio for a while and would love to spread my wings and do more for my home city of Salford. Pete

AnonymousDecember 21st 2011.

just heard Paul on bbc6 music talking about his new music,based 9on the 7 deadly sins,about the Kings arms and about crisps.....been a fan for years and welcome his governance of the ales......i'm from london but dont eat smoked salmon or go to wine bars,i like a pint,pickled eggs,crisps and a jukebox that i can hear....i'm going to pay a visit soon....he's got the right idea...

AnonymousDecember 21st 2011.

They got rid of the krombacher and just before xmas. Sacrilege! But the Jukebox is an improvement.

Marky MarkApril 13th 2012.

We called here on Sunday late afternoon and was pleasently surprised with this pub, full of character, specially the "Do Not Disturb signs" around the walls from the hotels Paul has proberly stayed in on his tours. Good beers and wines. We had Ham & Mustard Barmcake.! nice enough... Our only disappointment was the condition of the toilets... "Ladies had no mirror, toilet paper ends stuffed behind the radiator. The gents pipework had not been cleaned for considerble time and were quite dirty and smelly.... hopefully next time we visit things will be "Sorted" :-)

Chrissie HollandJune 20th 2012.

Moan, moan, moan. Bottom line is: pubs are closing at the rate of fifty a month. The alternative for the Kings Head is boarded up doors and windows. I'm from over the pennines and will be visiting this great looking pub to check out the theatre group upstairs and maybe buy some nosh. Now, Tommy and friends, do you want my money in your area or not? Six months on from the original post the pub should be well on it's way, and good luck to all concerned.

Chrissie HollandJune 20th 2012.

Sorry, meant to say Kings Arms.

Steve BohanNovember 20th 2013.

Its really good to see a pub thats being kept as a pub. You are really lucky, most in London have been converted to Gastro/bistro jobs or, horror of horrors, Tesco 'locals'.. Paul, I hope that all of this support converts to pints being served, top work!

Tom BallNovember 20th 2013.

Good on ya, Paul. I wish ya well in your new adventure. Salford pubs are legendary. I miss them now I live in Holland :o( I remember doing a Chapel Street pub crawl in the late 80's when there was around 20-25 pubs. I lot have closed down now which is a shame. Hope you give the regular customers what they want and wish ya good luck. See ya in 2014 :o)

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