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Thursday, 24 April 2014

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Closed Carlisle pub to reopen after £450,000 revamp

A landmark pub which closed last year is poised to get a £450,000 revamp, creating 15 jobs when it reopens.

Caledonian graphic
Artist's impression of how The Caledonian will look

The Caledonian on Botchergate in Carlisle is set to become a ‘community’ bar specialising in serving craft and cask beers and providing sports coverage on HD televisions.

It has been bought by a company running dozens of pubs across the north of England that has been aiming to get a foothold in the market in the city for some time.

Amber Taverns, which has its head offices in Blackpool, says it is aiming to reopen the bar – one of the biggest and most distinctive on the central drinking stretch of Botchergate – in mid-April.

The Caledonian, known for years in Carlisle by its nickname the Cally, closed in November.

Bryan Wardman, joint managing director at Amber Taverns, said: “We’ve been looking for sites in Cumbria, and particularly Carlisle, for some time.

“What we intend to do is spend about £450,000 on the refurbishment. It will be quite a big refurbishment and there will be 15 new jobs.

“We specialise in community pubs which offer a good range of cask and craft beers.

“We’re also good with sport. Our pubs have several sports channels, racing channels and Sky Sports. Everything will be wired up to HD, the quality will be really, really good.

“We’re interested in a broad range of customers.”

The firm plans to carry out work on the outside of the pub as well as refurbish the interior. Builders are expected to start on site near the end of the month.

On why the company went for The Caledonian, Mr Wardman added: “Really it’s location, location, location.

“It’s a city that is important to us. It’s been a target town for some time.

“The pub is on an existing drinking circuit and we like to be on the circuit rather than stuck out on a limb.”

Mr Wardman said he had been “walking up and down Botchergate” looking for opportunities for a number of years.

“The Cally gives us the opportunity to bring back a really good traditional pub,” he added.

The Caledonian changed names and became known as Bar Code and CA1 in the years near the turn of the millennium but was relaunched under its original name in 2006.

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