The Grade II-listed Turks Head is well-known for being frequented by Charles Dickens, however locals were worried its purpose as a pub had gone for good, when in 2005 Prezzo opened a restaurant on the site.
Watson’s group recently purchased The Old Fire House in Exeter for between £3m and £4m, becoming the group’s second Devon pub. The City Pub Group expects to reopen the pub within three months, despite development still being in the early planning stage.
A spokesperson for the City Pub Group, said: “We are bringing back The Turks Head, a much loved venue pub in Exeter. We want to bring back to it as much of the original features of the pub as possible, a move back to what made it popular. All of our sites are very individual and remain individual, unlike chains such as Greene King.
“We took on The Old Fire House 18 months ago and we hardly changed a thing, we want it to remain as individual as possible and we have the same plan for The Turks Head. We’ve been exploring a lot of the history of the pub, and digging out original blueprints. We’ve already unearthed original features including stone work, fireplaces and wooden beams.”
He added: “We have had the keys for for a couple of weeks and we’re aiming to open in late spring, early summer.”