New life for Northampton's empty Rhubarb bar with roof garden, fire pit and Â£500,000 renovation
A Northampton town centre bar that has stood shut for three years will reopen after a Â£500,000 investment.
Work starts this week to renovate the former Rhubarb bar, in Abington Street, into a new contemporary pub.
The business, which will reopen as The Wedgwood, will serve coffee and food all day and open for nights out in the evening.
The renovation is being undertaken by Heineken-owner Star Pubs & Bars under the pub's new operator Danny Fisher.
Danny said: "It's exciting to be bringing such a prominent building back into use and adding to the wider investment in Northampton's centre. I want the Wedgwood to be a place everyone feels comfortable in and enjoys."
The Wedgwood is scheduled to open in early March and create around 45 new jobs. It will feature a central fire pit, seating for 100 people and a pool room with sports bar.
The upstairs roof terrace will also be revamped into an all-weather garden for year-round use with an outdoor bar.
Star Pubs & Bars operations director Tim Galligan said: “We feel fortunate that such an experienced operator as Danny is taking on the pub as their own and working with us to revive its fortunes and make it an asset to the centre of Northampton.
"Heineken is a passionate supporter of the great British pub and is investing in pubs like The Wedgwood to help them deliver excellent quality, attract customers and thrive at the heart of their communities for years to come.”
The former Rhubarb bar was boarded up in 2015 after rough sleepers took to using the doorway.
The new bar will be named after the site's original 1950s pub The Wedgewood, which was forced to close in 2007 after undercover swoops proved staff were selling alcohol to children.