Pub owner reveals reopening date for one of Northampton's oldest boozers following £1million investment

The owner of one of Northampton's oldest pubs has revealed a reopening date for the refurbished boozer following a one million pound investment.

Wednesday, 13th July 2022, 4:13 pm
Updated Wednesday, 13th July 2022, 5:46 pm

McManus Pub Co, which owns 18 pubs across the county, has revived a part of Northampton's history by bringing Shipmans in the Drapery back to life.

Gary McManus said: "We bought it in 2014 and then we closed it and various hurdles got in the way where we couldn't get on with it. We got started before Covid and then had to stall it. But now we've finished it.

"We bought it because we like the history of the pub. We think it's great. It's a town centre gem. It's got a lot of history, it's one of the oldest pubs, dating back to circa 1790.

Shipmans will reopen on July 22

"It's got a lot of love for it going back generations and I know an awful lot of people are very interested to see it back open.

"We wanted to invest in it to put it back in a better place than it's ever been. We can't wait to get it open and share it with people who enjoy going to Northampton town centre."

Gary revealed the pub's grand opening will be on Friday, July 22 which will see a shire horse carriage deliver a barrel of beer from Phipp's Brewery, at the bottom of Bridge Street, to Shipmans.

Gary said: "It will be a great event to draw people into the town centre."

Talking about the pub's refurbishment, Gary said: "It's completely decorated, it's going to look so nice. It's got more space upstairs. All in all it's about 90 covers, with about 40 of those upstairs.

"It's still very much a wet-driven pub but with great food. I think the public can expect a delightful new town centre pub but with all of the historic parts of it still in place.

"It's probably more of a pub where people like to go and have a pint, have a wine, a schooner of sherry, craft ale, half a beer, it's got it all.

"We've kept the quirky things. We've kept the original floors, panelling, bar, we've just got the best out of it with the interior design. We've just made it really comfortable and nice.

"We're very happy with the outcome. We're hoping the people of Northampton will really love it.

"It's really important that we invest in the town centre. I like to think the only way is up.”

Dave Knibb, author of Last Orders: A History and Directory of Northampton Pubs, said the reopening is 'fantastic news'.

The historian said: "Shipmans reopening is fantastic news for Northampton.

"So many pubs have closed down over the years, disappearing forever, but for McManus Pubs to regenerate such an iconic pub is scarcely believable.

"Its reopening will give a generation of people a chance to revisit and rekindle much loved memories, and of course, a chance to create new ones."

Mark Mullen, operations manager for Northampton Town Centre Business Improvement District (BID), said: “Shipman’s is an iconic venue in our town and it’s wonderful to see it being brought back to life. It’s another beautiful old building with a rich history that’s been given a 21st century makeover to make it fit for the future, ensuring the people of Northampton have yet another reason to come into our town centre.”