Up In Arms


The Somerset in Marston Road has been fully refurbished and rebranded as The Up In Arms after Dodo invested in the site to bring it back into business and back to life. The treasured pub was given “asset of community value” status after a dedicated local campaign prevented the site from being turned into flats.  

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Dodo Pub Co / Arkells
Pub Garden
Design, Build & Furnishing
April 2019

We worked closely with Dodo to reincarnate the treasured local ensuring it has a unique and distinctive Dodo company style, familiar to anyone who has been inside the Rickety Press or Magdalen Road's Rusty Bicycle.

As the pub had been shut for 5 years major structural, mechanical and electrical works were needed to repair the fabric of the building, whilst the new design needed to focus on maximising space to ensure the business could be viable, and creating a warm and welcoming environment where the community would feel at home.

Walls were knocked down and facilities were moved yet parts of the original building were uncovered during the project such as eye-catching floor tiles which were retained to ensure its original character wasn’t lost.

The Up In Arms' bar has been relocated so that the original main entrance could be reopened, you now enter the pub from the centre of the building and are met with the brand new bar infront of you. The new bar has a feature ash frontage, with light box gantry above and a back fitting which has been constructed from key clamp and scaffolding to give it a Dodo twist.

A dining area has been created and a full new kitchen has been installed, complete with a pizza oven and a serving hatch so guests can see inside. The food servery is highlighted with feature tiles that give the perfect background for the iconic neon Dodo light.

The dining area has a mix of industrial tables, retro chairs, wooden benches and feature pendent lighting to give a nod to the art deco style of the building. Retaining the original fireplace in this room along with timber floors which were stripped and stained highlights its heritage and helps create a cosy, relaxed atmosphere.

The client provided much of their own bric-a-brac purchased from antique fairs - think retro dinosaur toys trapped in terrariums, a range of plant pots, old suitcases, brightly covered books and eye-catching posters with distressed frames which all work together togive that homely feel

The toilets have been re-configured and refurbished with feature floor tiling and Belfast style basins.

At the front, the lobby to the RHS of the building has been converted into a coffee servery complete with a wooden hatch from which hot drinks can be served to patrons or can be accessed from the street by passers-by.

In the garden, seats and heaters have been added, creating room for around 80 people.

A shipping container has been put in the back to host events including film screenings and live music performances. When the garden is not occupied by performances, customers can make use of the new external football and ping-pong tables to entertain themselves.

Resurrecting the exterior of this rundown pub has proudly marked the transition of the building and really made it stand out. Hand painted signage, new brass swan neck lighting and festoon lighting gives the pub street presence day and night.

Overall, The Up in Arms is a comfortable community pub that can be enjoyed by locals and visitors alike. 

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