Published on 20/02/2017The Railway on Station Road in Whittlesey has closed for a £300,000 refurbishment by Heineken-owned Star Pubs & Bars and new licensee, Simon Bains, which will transform the rundown pub into a quality traditional pub serving great food.
The project’s start brings to an end local speculation and concerns for the Railway’s future. Work is expected to start on 6th February with the pub scheduled to reopen in mid March. Ten new jobs will be created.
Simon, who was born and bred in Peterborough, says finding the Railway is a “dream come true”. Having successfully turned round a pub in Lincolnshire, he wanted to return to his hometown and be close to family and had been searching for months for a pub to take on. “The Railway has had a rocky road but is full of potential. It just needs investment and a tender hand to bring it back to life,” says Simon.
Outside work will focus on making the Railway an attractive feature of Whittlesey. The building will be repainted and clad in parts whilst the area in front of the pub will be landscaped and new furniture and fencing added.
Inside the pub will be completely refurbished in a warm traditional style but with contemporary touches. A real fire will be installed. An extension will be built to enable the creation of a new cellar and dining area and the kitchen upgraded.
Simon, who is a trained chef, wants to make the Railway known for its food and the menu will be freshly prepared using locally sourced produce wherever possible. The pub’s new chef, Kerry Howard from Spalding, is a skilled pastry chef and homemade cakes and coffee will be served in the afternoons. The quality of the beer will also be a priority and Simon is installing state of the art cellar equipment to ensure the Railway offers a consistently great pint.
Simon is a firm believer in the important role pubs can play in the community. He will be consulting with customers about events and activities to put on and a section of the pub will be available for use by local groups such as the WI.
“It’s great to get started. The plans are amazing and will give the Railway the ‘wow’ factor, it will look like a different pub,” say Simon.
Tim Galligan, Star Pubs & Bars operations director said, “Heineken is a passionate supporter of the Great British pub. It’s fantastic that such a committed and experienced licensee as Simon, who knows Whittlesey and Peterborough so well, is taking on the Railway and working with us to revive its fortunes.”