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Historic Carlisle pub closing for major revamp

An historic pub is getting a makeover. The Kings Head, in Carlisle city centre, is closing for a major refurbishment.

Mike Vose

But its landlord promises that the pub, on Fisher Street, will stay true to its roots.

Mike Vose, who has been at the Kings Head for 13 years, says the work is overdue.

He said: “It’s looking tired and worn out. There’s no structural work going on but it will look slightly different but with the same feel and charm it has now.”

The pub is believed to be one of the oldest in the city. While the present building dates back to the 17th century there’s been an inn on the same site for 1,000 years.

The Kings Head was first listed in the local directory in 1829 when the landlord was James Sawyer who had fought at the Battle of Waterloo.

The work on the look of the pub can’t begin for a week as there’s asbestos which needs removing.

That’s expected to take about a week and then the refurbishing will begin.

When the pub reopens next month, the upstairs room, which has been closed for a number of years, will again be available for dining and small meetings.

The room has been used in the past for theatre productions but they will now continue to take place in the courtyard at the back of the pub.

A performance had been due to take place next week but the work being done has meant it has been cancelled.

Mr Vose says the kitchens are being redone as well.

“We’ll be expanding the range of food we do but it will still be traditional, hearty pub food. We’re not pretentious, we’ve no airs and graces here,” he added.

While some of the existing furniture will be taken away for restoration, some will be replaced altogether and the soft furnishings reupholstered.

The Kings Head is known for its selection of real ales with regular brands being joined by beers from breweries across the country.

That range is going to be expanded when the pub reopens with at least one further guest ale available at any given time.

Mr Vose says he’s been waiting a long time for the work to be done.

“It’s been 12-and-a-half years since it was last decorated. It’s going to look a lot better, though exactly how it will look is in the hands of the architects.”

The Kings Head is due to reopen on October 1.

Have your say

Are you bringing back Space Invaders?

Posted by Colin on 2 September 2014 at 21:42

Is there not another Battle of Waterloo coming up? PLEASE!!
All the Best Vose!!

Posted by Steven Carswell on 2 September 2014 at 16:08

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