WORK has started on refurbishment of the Unicorn in Porthtowan, which has been closed since May.

Heineken’s pub business, Star Pubs & Bars, and new licensees, Taskin Muzaffer, Pru Clarke and Gareth Crosby of The Johnson Collective, who run pubs and restaurants in London, are together investing £350,000 renovating and upgrading the pub.

It will reopen for the August bank holiday weekend, as an all-day neighbourhood pub with rooms – The Unicorn On The Beach Coastal Pub, Kitchen & Rooms – creating 25 new jobs.

The plans aim to make the pub "a family and dog-friendly local, a hub for the community, with a focus on locally sourced food, varied entertainment and a bar for beachgoers, walkers and surfers".

Five en-suite bedrooms are also being created and a Surf House, which will sleep 20 people in luxury pods in "New England dorm style rooms", designed by An Artful Life.

The interior is being reconfigured to create five different areas including a relaxed bar, a snug with an open fire and brightly coloured sofas and chairs, a dining conservatory, a games room with snooker and darts and a new cinema room.

Outside, the terrace is being extended and new furniture installed to make the most of its beachside location and ocean views. There will be terraces and drinking and Kitchen vegetable gardens, which altogether provide seating for 190, trebling the current capacity.

The exterior will also be enhanced by new painted cladding, signage, planting and festoon lighting.

All ingredients will be sourced from within 100 miles of the pub, the new owners say, with the pub opening from 9am.

There will be pool and darts, vintage or arts style films with free popcorn a couple of times a week and twice monthly The Unicorn on the Beach will host a pub quiz and live music.

Sarah Hawthorne, who was born and brought up in St Ives and has been working as a general manager with Taskin, Pru and Gareth, is returning to Cornwall to open and manage the team’s first west country outpost.

Taskin said: “We’ve been wanting to open a pub in Cornwall for some time and The Unicorn on the Beach ticks all our boxes – a fantastic beachside location which we could transform and an opportunity to provide accommodation for the increasing number of staycationers and surf enthusiasts.

"But most importantly, it has the potential to be a great neighbourhood pub. And to show how important local residents are to us, we’ll have a special locals’ discount.”

Sarah said: “I can’t wait to come home to Cornwall and run The Unicorn on the Beach. It will have it all – a fantastic location, stunning new décor, good interesting drinks selection and I believe some of the best food around helped by the exceptional produce on our doorstep.

"I’m really looking forward to moving in getting to know my new neighbours and making new friends.”

Neil Convery, regional operations director for Star Pubs & Bars, added: “We’re delighted to be co-investing with The Johnson Collective to create what will be a fantastic coastal pub with rooms. They are a highly experienced and well-regarded team. Their vision is to create a unique neighbourhood pub for all seasons, all occasions and all age groups.

“Our investment is part of £50m being spent by Heineken on great British pubs this year. Pubs like The Unicorn on the Beach need this type of investment to flourish in the long-term and great operators, like this team undoubtedly is. I wish them well.”