The owner of Stroud’s former Imperial Hotel has told Stroud Times that work will commence next week.
The hotel has been closed since 2020 and was renamed ‘The Stroud’ last year. Owner Simon Berg said: “I’m pleased to report we are starting the building works next week formally.
“It’s looking like a six-month program now, but thankfully we are underway and excited to see the end product once we are done.”
Last year Mr Berg told of ambitious plans for the newly-listed Imperial to give the building a boutique hotel feel, with the aim of giving a much better dining and accommodation experience.
The Imperial was built in 1863 by Benjamin Bucknall, the architect who also designed Woodchester Park Mansion.
The hotel was sold to the Stroud Brewery Company in 1949 for £25,000. The Stroud Brewery Courier reported: ‘This very attractive hotel situated near and facing the Stroud G.W.R. Station has been recently acquired by the Company. It has twenty-five letting bedrooms, a spacious resident’s lounge, public lounge, hotel bar, public bar and Gentleman’s smoke room, together with a large dining room.
‘In addition, the hotel has well equipped kitchens and Mr and Mrs F J Coucher, the Company’s Manager and Manageress are able to meet the needs of the public in the catering side and for public functions.’
It was acquired by Berni Inns in 1964 and in 1973 you could drink a glass of Beaujolais for £1.37, dine on rump steak for £1.04, gammon, egg and chips for 90p or plaice and chips for 75p. By 1984 prices had risen and an 8oz sirloin steak would set you back £4.80 but you could still enjoy cheesecake for a mouthwatering 75p.
Most recently it was the Royal Orchid Thai Restaurant, but the building was boarded up in May 2020 when the sub-lease expired.
Princess Elizabeth signed the visitors’ book at the hotel, and after their performance at Stroud Subscription Rooms, the Beatles stayed at the Imperial Hotel.