A derelict former pub and restaurant is to re-open as a drink and dining destination after a £650,000 investment.
The iconic Black Bull at Midgley has been closed for five years. It was already shut when it was bought by Star Pubs & Bars as part of a purchase of 1,900 pubs from Punch Taverns in 2018. Its re-opening was delayed by the pandemic and its aftermath.
The re-development is being undertaken by Heineken-owned Star Pubs & Bars in partnership with Tony Lumb, who has 12 other pubs across Yorkshire including The Blue Bell at Pontefract and 21 The High Street at Tadcaster.
The plan is to transform the premises into a quality pub serving food and drink. The new-look Black Bull is scheduled to open in late October, creating at least 30 new jobs.
The building will be totally renovated outside and will be repainted. There will also be new signage, lighting and planting.
The project will install bi-fold doors opening onto a covered 60-seater terrace. With heating and special lighting, it will provide space for alfresco eating and drinking throughout the year.
A dramatic makeover will completely refurbish the inside of the pub to a high standard. The stylish traditional décor will incorporate heritage colours, classic fabrics and leather-covered button-backed seating along with contemporary touches, such as modern lighting and artwork.
The design will retain features like a former open truss-ceilinged barn in the middle of the building and bring three fireplaces back into use.
A new wooden bar will be built in the heart of the pub and the new layout will include a spacious bar area, a comfortable lounge accommodating informal dining and a dining room seating 120 people.
Tony and new licensee Sean Womack, who comes from Doncaster, aim to restore the pub’s reputation for food and bring something new to the area.
To that end they are refitting the kitchen and installing an authentic wood-fired pizza oven imported from Italy as well as a state-of-the-art chicken rotisserie. The kitchen will have an open pass, allowing guests to share in the theatre of seeing the chefs in action.
The Black Bull will serve an extensive menu spanning pub favourites, tapas and à la carte specials and catering for all occasions, from light lunches and afternoon teas with homemade cakes to celebration dinners.
A children’s menu, weekend breakfasts and Sunday roasts are also on the cards. Wherever possible, dishes will be made from scratch using locally sourced ingredients.
Tony and Sean want the Black Bull to be known for its drinks, too. Their extensive selection will range from craft beers and Yorkshire cask ales to cocktails and barista quality coffee.
Tony said: “The Black Bull is a very well-known pub and was much loved in its heyday. It’s been sad to see it shut for so long.
“Local residents have been desperate for it to reopen. We’ve already received inquiries for Christmas bookings and reservations for parties in 2024.
“We want the Black Bull to be a pub with something for everyone to enjoy, and we’re giving it the works. We can’t wait to open the doors and welcome people back.”
Grant Morgan-Tolworthy, Star Pubs & Bars’ operations director for Yorkshire, said: “The Black Bull is a huge pub and this is a massive project, which was knocked back by the pandemic and its fallout.
“We’re excited to be finally breaking ground and working with Tony to bring the Black Bull back to life. He has an excellent track record for running outstanding Yorkshire pubs.
“With Tony and Sean at the reins, the Black Bull will be a great local and a top-notch dining pub with a difference that will attract people from across the region.”