Pub goes up-market with £130K facelift

REFURB: New licensee Graham Rowson outside the Market Tavern as work starts on a major refurbishment

REFURB: New licensee Graham Rowson outside the Market Tavern as work starts on a major refurbishment

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A run-down city centre pub is to get a major makeover to coincide with the exciting regeneration of Preston’s markets quarter.

And the 150-year-old Market Tavern, which looks out onto the old outdoor market, is getting a new landlord to mark its transformation.

Graham Rowson, one of the city’s longest serving pint-pullers, is leaving to Black Horse and moving up Orchard Street to take charge of the new-look hostelry.

“I’m really looking forward to it, especially with what’s going on with the markets quarter,” said Graham who has been serving beer in the city for 35 years.

“I’ve had my eye on it for 20 years, so I jumped at the chance to become its landlord when I heard it was available. It’s got loads of potential, but it is in a sad state.

“We want to add to the ambience being created by the city council in their restoration of the market place by making it a flagship pub.

“I’m sad to be leaving the Black Horse after six years, but what’s happening in the markets quarter is exciting and I want to be part of it.”

The refurbishment by owners Star Pubs and Bars will turn the Market Tavern into a traditional City of London style pub specialising in cask ale. It closes on Monday and will re-open on October 20.

Outside it will be carefully restored and redecorated, repairing damage done in a recent fire. It will also have an outside cafe area with tables, chairs, heaters and planters.

Inside it will be refurbished in keeping with its traditional character. The cellar is getting a makeover and a new kitchen is being fitted. But it will also have a novel glass porthole in the bar floor so customers can see Graham caring for beers in the cellar beneath their feet.