A landmark York pub shut suddenly last week – but it already has new owners who are planning to get it back to its ‘buzzing best’.
The Gillygate closed a few days ago. Nigel McLoughlin and Paul Reather, who only took it over last October, have moved on.
And now it is under new management – with refurbishment work underway ready for a reopening in a matter of weeks.
Nigel and Paul took over the Gillygate after Brian and Suzanne Furey, who ran it from 2014, let it go, citing the cost of living crisis and high energy bills.
Now it is in the hands of new manager Phil Gamble and his business partner Julie Hodgson who are ready to “take it to the next level”.
Phil was brought in by Neville and Michelle Craggs, who have added The Gillygate to a group of pubs they run, which include ones in Northallerton, Thirsk and Ripon.
Neville, Michelle and Phil came to look at The Gillygate last Friday. “We had a look. And everything was signed last Friday. So it all happened very quick,” Phil told YorkMix.
If all goes to plan it will reopen by the Bank Holiday weekend at the end of May.
Phil, from Middlesbrough, was running a late night venue in Stockton before he took on The Gillygate.
“I’m really excited to get started. Nervous – not going to lie – but really excited to get the ball rolling, to get them doors open to get people in and let people know that we’re here.”
He wanted to let people know that this was a fresh start for The Gillygate.
“It’s a different management. Totally different people are running it and we’re we’re hoping that we can make this a fantastic venue, a music venue, a sport venue, good accommodation, good food.
“And we hope that people will come back and want to spend time here, especially York locals.”
The work underway at the moment includes the installation of two new televisions to offer sports coverage. One of the rooms is going to be decorated with racing memorabilia, and Phil hopes York racegoers will come to the Gillygate this season.
He’s taken out the pool table, but plans to put in another games machine and a dartboard to get a team competing in the local league.
Live music will feature regularly on the stage in the big beer garden. “I’m going to be looking at having live bands on a weekend – reggae, northern soul, or any sort of young up and coming bands in the local area that are looking to get themselves on the map.”
A new menu is coming in too. “We’re doing food with like a Caribbean type twist. So things like rib burgers, grilled chickens, whole rack of ribs.”
And he’s introducing Spanish beer Cruzcampo to the bar.
He is looking to recruit staff for The Gillygate including a chef, and a housekeeper for the accommodation – it has seven bedrooms. You can apply by dropping a CV in or contacting the Gillygate through its new Facebook page.
Oh, and it will be dog friendly! Phil’s own dog, Luna, a German Shepherd cross, will be there too.