Thursday, May 24, 2018

News: Sneak peek at Rotherham's newest bar


Tom Austen, editor of Rothbiz, recently took the opportunity to take a look at the renovation work inside a Grade II listed "hidden gem" of a building in Rotherham town centre that is being brought back to life as a boutique hotel. The fact the bars were open for the first time was purely coincidental.

The George Wright building is an early 19th century former office built in a Tudor Revival style. It is tucked away behind the High Street on The Crofts and was saved from being lost forever by Chris Hamby who has pioneered the heritage-led regeneration project to create a complex of mixed-used retail outlets focusing on listed buildings.

With the initial focus on the restoration of the Three Cranes building and the retail units which are fully let, work is almost complete on the conversion of the George Wright building.

This project is being pioneered by another local businessman who sees the potential of the town and the importance of recognising its heritage - Mark McGrail, who found success with Parkgate-based SME Environmental Services and in 2016 completed the 1915 Bar & Bistro, across the town centre.


The hotel includes two bars. Proud tradespeople mixed with elected members fresh from signing in a new mayor at a "soft opening" event as the staff continued preparations to fully open later in the Spring. Bar staff were putting the finishing touches to the gin and cocktail menus.

With seven bedrooms, the site also has a function room and a number of weddings are already booked in. A grill restaurant with open kitchen is also planned.

Outside, open terraces can be found at the front and back of the property - the hotel can be reached from the Town Hall side and from an alleyway leading up from the High Street. A botanical type garden adds to the "hidden gem" feeling.

Tom Austen said: "When Chris [Hamby] showed me around the properties three years ago, the Three Cranes and Georgion town house were lovingly restored but the George Wright building was still in a sorry state. The roof had been replaced but inside it still had no floor and most areas were out of bounds.

"To go in last week and see it as it is now was seriously impressive. I can remember the bistro at The Crofts but I mostly remember the buildings as dilapidated eyesores.

"The George Wright Boutique Hotel and Bar is something that Rotherham can be proud of and just shows you what can be done with our heritage assets and don't sell ourselves short."

The building was famously occupied by George Wright & Company in the 1800's who designed and manufactured elaborate stoves and fireplaces. The site also formed lawyer's offices from 1777-1887.

The original stone built two-storey, Grade II listed building was constructed in 1850. It includes a two and three storey annex to the north that had been subjected to fire.

George Wright Boutique Hotel Bar & Restaurant Facebook page

Images: Tom Austen


Anonymous,  May 24, 2018 at 9:34 PM  

Looks giod. Wish i was still there.

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