Lancaster pub gets £1m makeover thanks to city businessmen

Graham Cass (left) and Andrew Barker have taken over the ownership of the Bowerham Hotel and refurbished it inside and out.
Graham Cass (left) and Andrew Barker have taken over the ownership of the Bowerham Hotel and refurbished it inside and out.
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A Lancaster pub has been saved from the bulldozers thanks to two well-known local businessmen.

Andrew Barker, who was previously with Mitchells Brewery, and Jo and Cass co-owner Graham Cass, have invested £1m into taking over, renovating and and refurbishing the Bowerham Hotel.

Graham Cass (right) and Andrew Barker have taken over the ownership of the Bowerham Hotel and refurbished it inside and out.

Graham Cass (right) and Andrew Barker have taken over the ownership of the Bowerham Hotel and refurbished it inside and out.

It is due to officially launch tonight, Thursday, although the pub has remained open throughout the redevelopment.

“We heard it was going to be bulldozed and turned into student flats,” Graham said.

The pub is particularly close to Andrew’s heart as his great great grandfather was among those to build it in around 1860.

“It seemed a shame that it was going to go,” Andrew said. “We got together and put together a plan.”

Graham Cass and Andrew Barker have taken over the ownership of the Bowerham Hotel and refurbished it inside and out.

Graham Cass and Andrew Barker have taken over the ownership of the Bowerham Hotel and refurbished it inside and out.

The work has taken 24 weeks from takeover.

The pub has been refurbished inside and out, with the building’s traditional high ceilings, coving and stained glass windows brought back into use.

A kitchen has been installed, and the pub will offer coffee as well as meals – including a takeaway pizza service – and a range of cask ales.

Donations from coffee and pizzas sold will go to the Rosemere Cancer charity.

The pub will host live entertainment as well as showing sport.

“It’s been a challenge,” Graham said. “It had a really loyal following so it needed to be modernised without losing that loyal support.

“Some of the locals have been drinking in here for 50 years, and thery have been telling us what they think all the way through.

“We are hopefully bringing it back to life.”

And the pub’s regulars seem pleased with the result.

Andrew said: “The feedback has been really good. It’s about making it a community place for everyone to come to.”

This is the first venture the pair have worked on together, but they are already planning their next project.

They have taken on The Station in Caton, which they aim to start work on in January 2017.

They also have the Victoria Inn at Glasson Dock and the Owl’s Nest in Bare lined up for refurbishment in the near future.