Historic pub gets new lease of life

ONE of Sheffield’s oldest and best-known boozers reopens today under new management.

The Shakespeare, on Gibraltar Street, Shalesmoor, was closed down by former owners Punch Taverns in January 2010 - but now the pub is to get a new lease of life under a young new team.

The Shakespeare - which dates back to 1821 - has been bought by Bradford-based pub owner William Wagstaff.

It will be run by 24-year-old Robin Baker, formerly of The Three Merry Lads in Lodge Moor and Chris Bamford, 25, previously assistant manager at The Harlequin on Nursery Street.

Robin and Chris, who open their doors at a launch party from 5pm today, plan to establish the pub on Sheffield’s real ale trail, with live music upstairs.

“We will be specialising in real ales, both local and guest beers, with an extensive continental range and a good whisky selection,” said Robin.

“William got involved because he owns a similar pub in Bradford, The New Beehive Inn, and thought he could build a reputation here as well.

“I’m involved in the local music scene so we’re going to be really focusing on that at the pub as well.”

The team plans to retain the character of the 190-year-old building, which was built as a coaching inn.

Mr Wagstaff said the pub was in a “rather dilapidated state” when he took it on and has been given “a large injection of capital to put it back on its feet again”.

New features include a bar area created beneath the archway under which horses would trot to their stables when the pub was first built as a coaching inn.