It is all change at a Gloucester city centre pub which has a new publican, a new name and the promise of a new era of traditional Irish hospitality.
The Union, in Westgate Street, has changed its name to Molly’s Bar, reflecting the nickname of new publican Jacquie Nesbitt who has just taken over the pub on a lease with Enterprise Inns, who also own boozers such as Voltage and the nearby Fountain Inn.
Jacquie has moved back to the UK from Ireland having previously run a number of high profile managed pubs for Fullers in London and the Hare and Hounds in Churchdown which she turned round to a thriving community local.
“I fell in love with the pub the moment I saw it and felt there was great potential to build trade with an Irish offer,” said Jacquie. “It will include food with an Irish twist, live music twice a month, traditional pub games and live televised sport such as rugby.
“The Union came from the union between Ireland and England in the 1600s but since moving in I’ve tidied it up, introduced some Irish themed bric-a-brac and changed the name to Molly’s which was my grandma’s and also my own nickname.”
Jacquie is confident that with Gloucester’s strong links with the Irish community, Molly’s Bar will prove popular with locals and visitors to the city.
She said: “We are not competing against any of the other branded Irish chains, so will be looking to bring something different in terms of what we offer. As well as Guinness I will be serving three traditional cask ales including a guest beer which will change on a bi-weekly basis.”
More recently Jacquie ran a concert hall and heritage centre in Donegal, but was keen to take up the challenge of running her own pub with Enterprise.
“I’ve had tremendous support including help from my old colleagues from the Kings Head, King Stanley, who came over to prepare the pub for re-opening,” she said.
Simon Wilson, regional manager at Enterprise, said: “We are delighted to welcome Jacquie to the pub. She has a successful track record as a manager with Fullers and Greene King and we will be offering all our support so that Molly’s Bar becomes a hit with locals.”