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25 October 2021

A major refurbishment to reopen a landmark Halifax pub after a three-year closure is now planned for 2022, having been delayed by the pandemic. 

Subject to recruiting a new licensee, Heineken-owned Star Pubs & Bars is keen to invest £365,000 in The Westgate on the corner of Westgate and Union Street. The project would upgrade the Grade II listed pub into a stylish bar, enhancing the Piece Hall quarter.  

The work would carefully renovate the building’s historic exterior, adding new signage, lighting and retractable awnings. Newly installed bi-fold doors and enlarged sash windows would open up The Westgate, enabling customers to watch the world go by. Should the pedestrianisation of Westgate go ahead, a pavement licence would also be sought for an area of café-style seating outside.  

The investment would transform the inside of The Westgate, too, creating a contemporary bar and dining area on the ground floor and installing a commercial kitchen on the first floor to enable the introduction of food. To complement the new menu, the cellar would receive an overhaul with state-of the-art dispense equipment to ensure consistently perfect draught beer and cider. The venue would have a stunning minimalist look, incorporating original exposed brickwork, modern artwork and quirky design features. 

Other improvements include replacing the customer toilets, adding a staff room and redecorating and refitting the second-floor licensee accommodation. 

The venue would have all-day appeal, serving barista-quality coffee, a superb selection of premium wines, spirits and beers – with craft as a specialty – and a distinctive food menu.   

Said Star Pubs & Bars’ area manager for Halifax, Anthony Briggs: “The delay to the scheme caused by the pandemic has been hugely disappointing.  Now that restrictions are over, we’re eager to find a licensee to take over The Westgate and move the refurbishment forward with us. The Westgate is a well-known pub in a prominent location, so it’s a great opportunity for someone with experience wanting a quality bar in the heart of Halifax.” 

Adds Briggs: “Halifax has really bounced back after the lockdowns and is building on its reputation for unique independent businesses and fantastic food and drink. The reopening of The Westgate would add to other planned investment, such as the construction of a covered walkway linking the station, the Piece Hall and the town centre. We want to make The Westgate an asset to Halifax again, a place that caters for all occasions, whether customers are after a morning coffee, a light lunch or a great night out.” 

Anyone interesting in finding out more about taking on The Westgate can see further details at www.starpubs.co.uk or call 08085 94 95 96. 

The Westgate dates back to the 18th century and was originally two houses with an attached weaving wing. At one stage it became two separate pubs, but it merged with the former Town Hall Tavern in the 1960s. The building still has two cellars.