Covid wrecks dream to turn historic Preston pub Shawes Arms into family restaurant - and now it could become a block of 10 flats

A year after announcing it was to become a new restaurant, the owners of a landmark Preston pub have put it on the market as a potential apartment block.

By Catherine Musgrove
Friday, 28th January 2022, 12:38 pm

Aneta and Ebrahim Paruk, who run Coco’s Soul Food in Friargate, took over the former Shawes Arms pub in London Road with dreams of turning it into their second eatery in the city.

>>>Click here to read about their vision last year.

Despite ploughing cash and time into renovation work, they have now decided to pull the plug on the venture, and this week the property has been listed for sale for £525,000.

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The former Shawes Arms in London Road, Preston

Mrs Paruk said: "Due to financial struggles after being hit by Covid restrictions, we are no longer able to fund the repairs of the building and have decied to put it back on the market."

Marketed by North West Homes, the former pub is described on Rightmove as a 10 bedroom townhouse with artist's impressions showing what it could look like, despite planning permission for this use not having been granted.

They describe it as an "excellent opportunity for developers to invest in a city which has a year on year demand for more residental accomodation to meet the needs of our university students and working professionals."

The brochure goes on to say: "The property has spacious land which has the potential to build a number of apartments subject to planning permission.

The rear of the property

"Fantastic location as it will overlook the River Ribble. There is (sic) also ideas of building a Fisherman's Lodge subject to planning."

The history

The Shawes, which dates back to at least 1824, was originally called the Black Horse Inn, standing on the Preston side of the Ribble Bridge.

It changed its name in 1843 and was a much-loved alehouse until trade dropped off and it closed its doors in 2014.

An artist's impression of how the former pub could be transformed. Picture from Rightmove.

In 2015 it was bought by Nadeem Sadiq with the intention of finding a tenant to re-open it as a pub. However, he was put off by the dereliction and damage caused by repeated break-ins, and sold the building to the Paruk's in June 2019 for £235,000.