Wednesday, May 30, 2018

News: Businessman brings Empress Building back to its former glory

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The iconic Empress Building in Mexborough is being officially reopened next month and this includes revealing a brand new bar, bistro and coffee lounge, thanks to investment from local entrepreneur Jason Mace, managing director of Manvers-based Gala Tent.

The "Empress Rooms" bar and bistro will be officially opened on June 14 at a special VIP event, as part of a £150k investment to return the building to its former glory.

Over the past ten months, Jason has invested in refurbishing the former Empress Building ballroom and dance hall into a hub of business, health and community activity. The building, which dates back to the 1920s, was built to mirror the great dance halls in places like Blackpool and for decades it was the hub of social activity in the area but in recent years had fallen into disrepair.

Restored to its former glory, damaged rotten timber windows have been replaced with new PVC-u windows to improve its appearance, let in more light and make it more energy efficient for tenants using the building. Jason has invested in upgrading other empty rooms in the building for new businesses to lease, where customers will be able to undergo beauty or cosmetic treatments.

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Mace said: "The opening of the Empress Rooms is the culmination of many months of planning and significant investment in the building. This bar-bistro-lounge is just what Mexborough needs – somewhere that local people can meet up with friends, family or business colleagues and enjoy a meal, or just catch up over a coffee, Prosecco or a few beers! We're looking forward to bringing the buzz back into this part of the town."

Michelle Carr, who runs the nearby Park View Bar Grill and Function Suite in Swinton, was looking for a new business venture and, after viewing the premises, decided the Empress Building was ideal. She named the bar and bistro The Empress Rooms to capture the nostalgia of this iconic building. In the last few weeks, Michelle has been busy recruiting and will create several new jobs for people in the local area, including bar, waiting-on, kitchen and cleaning staff.

The bistro also has a new Head Chef, Chris Cole, who is passionate about health and is a qualified nutritionist. Chris and Michelle have worked together to create a menu of tasty dishes, which will be prepared daily from locally sourced goods.

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Michelle Carr said: "We are really excited about what we have planned for the Empress Rooms. It will be quite unlike anywhere else in the area and we hope will help to revitalise this part of Mexborough and bring more visitors into the town. Chris has a real passion for good quality food and locally sourced fresh ingredients and we'll be serving a variety of mouth-watering dishes to suit all tastes."

The Empress Rooms will be open from 8am Monday to Saturday. It will serve breakfasts, lunches and afternoon teas and will host a number of themed dining evenings such as steak and Italian nights. The venue can also be hired out for private parties, anniversaries, christenings, birthdays, Christmas parties, corporate meetings and charity fundraising nights for up to 100 guests, on Sundays and after hours on certain week nights. The Empress Rooms will also be offering diet planning and advice, weekly and monthly prepared diet packages.

The Empress Building, which sold at auction in 2017, is currently occupied by a number of organisations, including the charity Dearne Valley Personal Development Centre, the Personal Training Room, Grafters Ironworks Gym, Micky's Athletics and Sally Salter Sports Massage.

Empress Building website

Images: Mark Jenkinson & Son

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