Spilsby is set to rock tonight when its historic hotel hosts its first music event since re-opening.
Many residents who had been regulars at the Grade II listed White Hart before it closed around five years ago gathered outside on Thursday evening to be first through the door.
And the warm welcome from new lease-holders Vicki Hayes and Tony inside their trendy new industrial interiors ,theme was the toast of the town.
One of the first through the door was David Bruce from the New Life Centre. “I think it’s fantastic. It’s such an iconic building - to see it back open again in all its glory is fantastic.
“It’s not only good for the busiinesses in the town but also for the residents to have somewhere else to socialise.”
Joyce Sellars was there with husband John. “We used to come here before it closed and had a lot of family occasions here. It was really said when it closed but lovely that it’s back open.”
Tony and Vicki said they were delighted to finally open the doors for what was ‘a soft opening’ as the building is still undergoing refurbishment, with the restaurant to open in a few weeks.
“It’s still a work in progress. We were working to a tight deadline but determined to open on the day, We hope people like what we are doing but we also want to listen to what our customers want.
“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,”
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.
The both 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.”
Events already set for The White Hart include Nottinghamshire singer/songwriter Matty Haynes who will perform tonight (Saturday) from 8.30pm on Saturday 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.