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Northend Vaults lined up as Gloucester's first pie and a pint pub - inside look at historical refit

By The Citizen  |  Posted: February 05, 2014

  • Northend Vaults bar

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Once it was an old merchant house, four hundred years on and the Northend Vaults pub will be reliving some of its much loved heritage when it reopens for business again next month.

Development is well under way to transform the Northgate Street building from an unloved empty shell to a bustling new watering hole.

Its location is perfect for a pre-rugby pint. Owners Enterprise Inns will serve up a treat to rugby fans, offering gourmet pies for them to eat in or takeaway.

Since the pub shut a little over two years ago, a catalogue of incidents has plagued the 16th century building.

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Fire, flood and a raid by thieves for copper piping has seen its refurbishment hit by delays.

Builders are working flat out to get the pub open in time for Easter, with a new landlord expected to be in position by the end of the month.

Regional manager Simon Wilson is overseeing the painstaking project to sensitively restore the building - but hasn't ruled out a name change.

“There isn’t much that won’t have been repaired or reinstated once it is finished,” he said.

“It hasn't been a normal pub refit, it has been all about restoration.

“There hasn't been anything locally like this that we have been involved with. Genuine restoration projects like this are few and far between.

“It is an exciting project and it will be a great pub for someone to take on.

“We may look at another name that reflects the history of the building. It used to be an old merchant house in the 16-17th century so we may link the new name to that. The development is all about the pub’s history.

“We didn’t want it to be a modern bar or a spirit swilling venue.

“Other pubs in the city will be in a better location and will have a captive trade, but this is perfect for the rugby crowd.

“There is a lot of regeneration in Gloucester. Hopefully the offers we will be putting in will complement match days at the rugby.

“We have a small kitchen but it will provide really good pies, it will almost be a pie and pint pub.”

A city council conservation officer has kept a close eye on the redevelopment. Builders have had to use limestone plaster and restore original timbers and wood panelling in line with its original design.

A brick wall has been left exposed to create a feature and an upstairs flat is also being redeveloped.

Enterprise Inns owns several city centre pubs, including The Union, Fountain Inn and Voltage. It has also recently completed repair work at The White Hart in Maisemore.

Interviews have taken place to find a suitable landlord to take on the Vaults. Rent is set at £12,000 a year, with a new appointment expected to be made by the end of the month.

Although there has been interest, some have been put off by the pub’s checkered history.

A spokesman for Enterprise Inns said: “The vision is to create an outlet which will become a welcoming, authentic period pub in the heart of historic Gloucester.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for a new Publican to share our vision for this pub and bring it back to life.

“We have already received a good level of interest however anyone keen to find out more can contact us on 0800 953 0072.”

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  • DarrelK  |  February 06 2014, 10:58PM

    It would be great to see the Northend Vaults reopened, but if you want a name 'that reflects the history of the building' leave it as it is: it's been called the Northend Vaults since 1869, what more history do you need?

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  • daveofglos  |  February 05 2014, 7:14PM

    The only problem I can see here are the words "Enterprise Inns" - yet another place that will not make money for the licensee and will be periodically shut while they try to find a new one...

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  • agaga  |  February 05 2014, 1:20PM

    This fits in nicely to the first news item

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