A prominent Grade II listed hotel in Spilsby which has stood empty for several years is set to re-open next week with a trendy new theme.
The White Hart is currently being refurbished ready to re-open as a hotel, restaurant, bar and cocktail lounge on Thursday, November 1.
The former coaching inn, situated opposite the statue of Sir John Franklin in the Market Place, dates back to the 17th century when horse-drawn carriages would often take patrons from the inn to the train station.
The Standard caught up with the new lease-holders, Vicki Hayes and Tony D’Ambrosio, who spoke about their exciting plans for the building.
“We hope what we are doing will attract people from other parts of the county and further afield to come to Spilsby, which will benefit all of the businesses here,” said Vicki.
She revealed The White Hart will have an ‘industrial interiors theme, with some steampunk-style influences.
The hotel will have eight rooms to let, an ‘intimate and cosy’ pub bar, a restaurant and a ‘snug area’ - which Vicki says they plan to use as a coffee area in the day-time and a cocktail lounge at night.
The couple have a licence to open until 12.30am and a ‘huge’ function room, which Vicki says has the potential for further use if there is demand for a larger bar in the future.
“We have spoken to other businesses and we have said that we really want to boost the town,” she said.
“We are not just in this to make money as a business, we really want this to lift the community too. We have family living in the area, so this is means a lot to us.”
The couple say they have been ‘overwhelmed’ by the amount of support they have already received from local businesses and on social media.
“We understand there is a lot of hype and expectation over the building and we are trying our best to get it back to a good position,” explained Vicki.
“We have taken on the entire building, so it’s a very big job, and we only have a limited budget.
“We know people are keen to see the front of the building restored as soon as possible, and it’s certainly in our plans to do that, but it’s not going to get finished straight away.”
The couple have experience in the hospitality industry, with Vicki being a chef, and Tony working as a technical engineer for a brewery.
“It’s the first business we have taken on, and our first project like this,” said Vicki, “But we are confident we can get the hotel back to a really good position in the town to benefit the area as a whole.”
The White Hart will have a ‘soft opening’ on Thursday next week, but the couple stress that some of the refurbishment work in the building will still be ‘ongoing’.
“There will still be bits to do as it’s an ongoing project, so we just ask people to bear with us as we know there is a lot of expectations for this venue,”
said Vicki, adding: “We have lots of things planned for the future, like little festivals, gigs and other events, so it’s all very exciting and we really hope people support us.”
Events already set for The White Hart include Nottinghamshire singer/songwriter Matty Haynes set to perform on the opening weekend, from 8.30pm on Saturday, November, 3 - and a live country music event on Friday, November 16, from 8pm. Both are free entry.
Do you have memories or photos of the White Hart hotel over the years? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.