St Ives pub could re-open as an upmarket bar and restaurant

The Robin Hood pub, St Ives.

The Robin Hood pub, St Ives. - Credit: Archant

The owner of a St Ives pub which has been closed for two years says he wants to re-open it as an upmarket bar and restaurant.

Michael Purchas last week successfully applied to Huntingdonshire District Council for a premises licence for the Robin Hood, in Market Hill.

“We intend to carry out really intense remedial works to the building and make it more of a restaurant/bar,” he said.

“We will submit plans shortly for a full refurbishment to turn it into something really nice – something that will bring people into town.”

Mr Purchas, who bought the pub in 2011 but closed it about six months later after running it at a loss, said the time was right to have another go at making it work.

He said: “We’re now coming out of recession, things are moving forward so we can view things differently and give it a go.

“If the Robin Hood is up and running again in the early part of next year it will bring a bit of vitality to that area.

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“We had a chat with the ­conservation officer because we found a roof within the roof, which is really unique. It dates back to the 15th Century so it’s quite a find.”

The curved beams are to be incorporated into the design of the revamped pub, which will be the subject of a planning application.

Mr Purchas, who also owns the Golden Lion, admitted he was still concerned about the proposed Wetherspoons, after the company revealed its intention to buy the former Warehouse Clearance Shop, just two doors from the Robin Hood and the Golden Lion.

“Even though they’ve bought it, they haven’t got a licence yet,” he said. “I’m not against Wetherspoon coming into town but I think they should take on an existing licence.

“We have lots of small pubs in Grade II-listed buildings that cost a fortune to maintain. If a super pub comes in I think it will destroy the town.”