£500k refit gives riverside pub a new lease of life
A pub on the Bradford on Avon Marina that was empty for several months has reopened and created 20 full-time jobs after a £500,000 investment.
The Boathouse in Trowbridge Road, formerly the Beef and Barge, was completely stripped and refurbished. The bar was the only original feature to be retained after the two-month refit.
Managing director Nick Dent bought the Widbrook Grange Hotel opposite in November last year and The Boathouse in March this year.
He said: “I fell in love with the place. It is everything you think a nice town should be. I love good food, good drink and boats. I’m proud of The Boathouse and excited we got everything in much earlier than expected.”
Pub manager Jo Carroll was landlady at the Tipsy Toad in Bulkington and The Faulkland Inn in Faulkland, Somerset.
She said: “I hope to bring a friendly, welcome feeling to the pub. We are trying to cater for everyone throughout the day.
“When I first came in it was cold and dark. I am so pleased with the end result.”
Executive chef Philip Carroll said: “We have updated the front of the pub but we still want to retain pub food. Everything is fresh and locally produced.”
Vegetables are supplied by Lovejoys of Melksham, beef, game and poultry from Walter Rose of Trowbridge, fresh fish by Cover Fisheries Poole and bread by the Bath Bakery.
Hotel guests will be able to come to the Boathouse and put the bill on their room tab.
The hotel has already had six rooms refurbished and custom made furniture is on order.
Its general manager, Christopher John, said: “There are a lot more plans for the future. It is a rolling programme.”
The pub reopened on Friday and is open from 10am to 10pm serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.