Owner’s £200,000 plan for the Blackburn pub he helped save

The Hare and Hounds pub is now thriving

The Hare and Hounds pub is now thriving

First published in News Blackburn Citizen: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A PUB that was on the brink of closure before being deemed a ‘community asset’ is looking to expand.

Residents near the Hare and Hounds in Lammack Road, Blackburn, started a petition to save their local when Enterprise Inns announced plans to sell it last year.

The pub was successfully registered as an ‘asset of community value’ after an application was sent to the council – in part because it was the last surviving former Duttons Brewery establishment in the country.

Ian Robertson, a local for 30 years, bought the pub – his first foray into the industry – and it is thriving.

Mr Robertson has now submitted plans for a £200,000 expansion, including a new kitchen, lounge area, side entrance, plus an upstairs bar.

He said: “It has been fabulous and it is much better than we could have hoped for.

“Because it is a free house the prices are low and we have refurbished it. It is a lovely building and the regulars are great.

“One of the problems before was that it was tied to Enterprise Inns, so as a manager you don’t get any freedom.

“Now I have that freedom to do what I want and to make it very personal.”

Mr Robertson has introduced handpump cask ales, and themed nights.

Beardwood Coun Michael Lee joined the fight to save the pub last year, lamenting the previous owners.

He said: “Most of their pubs are struggling and yet we have got a man in there who has been able to buy beer at a reasonable price, sell it at a good price and create a good atmosphere and it is going from strength to strength. It is really good that the community is getting behind him.”

Comments (10)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

9:19pm Fri 22 Aug 14

Excluded again says...

Hmmmm. Pub run by pubco serving the community what accountants in London think they want, with a succession of badly treated short term managers. Its uneconomic and needs to close.

Roll forward a year. Pub run by an enthusiastic local landlord, listening to what his customers want and providing it. Thriving business looking to expand.

A story repeated time and again up and down the country. There is a lesson there for the pubcos, but I doubt they will bother to listen.
Hmmmm. Pub run by pubco serving the community what accountants in London think they want, with a succession of badly treated short term managers. Its uneconomic and needs to close. Roll forward a year. Pub run by an enthusiastic local landlord, listening to what his customers want and providing it. Thriving business looking to expand. A story repeated time and again up and down the country. There is a lesson there for the pubcos, but I doubt they will bother to listen. Excluded again
  • Score: 31

10:10pm Fri 22 Aug 14

joemarch1 says...

Fantastic news. Been in a few times now and can see the change. Beats being another school, bedsit or empty doss house. Good luck to owner and the community
Fantastic news. Been in a few times now and can see the change. Beats being another school, bedsit or empty doss house. Good luck to owner and the community joemarch1
  • Score: 31

8:28am Sat 23 Aug 14

bow1974 says...

Excellent news well done will have to pop in and try a few ales hope it gose from strength to strength just gose to show what you can do with a pub if your not tied to a chain lets hope more go the same way.
Excellent news well done will have to pop in and try a few ales hope it gose from strength to strength just gose to show what you can do with a pub if your not tied to a chain lets hope more go the same way. bow1974
  • Score: 23

9:15am Sat 23 Aug 14

DaveBurnley says...

Excluded again wrote:
Hmmmm. Pub run by pubco serving the community what accountants in London think they want, with a succession of badly treated short term managers. Its uneconomic and needs to close.

Roll forward a year. Pub run by an enthusiastic local landlord, listening to what his customers want and providing it. Thriving business looking to expand.

A story repeated time and again up and down the country. There is a lesson there for the pubcos, but I doubt they will bother to listen.
The accountants probably make bigger bonuses if it's sold off, which is why they try to run them down.
[quote][p][bold]Excluded again[/bold] wrote: Hmmmm. Pub run by pubco serving the community what accountants in London think they want, with a succession of badly treated short term managers. Its uneconomic and needs to close. Roll forward a year. Pub run by an enthusiastic local landlord, listening to what his customers want and providing it. Thriving business looking to expand. A story repeated time and again up and down the country. There is a lesson there for the pubcos, but I doubt they will bother to listen.[/p][/quote]The accountants probably make bigger bonuses if it's sold off, which is why they try to run them down. DaveBurnley
  • Score: 11

3:36pm Sat 23 Aug 14

riversofblood says...

If you live in the area you can see that the pub is still very quiet . As most drinkers are moving out of the locality , I don't see a future for a pub in this area , never mind an upstairs bar. This is not langho 😜 would be interesting to know how the finances were raised for this project ... Can't see the banks touching it with a barge poll....
If you live in the area you can see that the pub is still very quiet . As most drinkers are moving out of the locality , I don't see a future for a pub in this area , never mind an upstairs bar. This is not langho 😜 would be interesting to know how the finances were raised for this project ... Can't see the banks touching it with a barge poll.... riversofblood
  • Score: -6

3:42pm Sat 23 Aug 14

riversofblood says...

Will last for another 12 months . Very poor location, in an area where most drinkers are moving out. Don't know who will go to the bar ....maybe should be alcohol free, may do better
Will last for another 12 months . Very poor location, in an area where most drinkers are moving out. Don't know who will go to the bar ....maybe should be alcohol free, may do better riversofblood
  • Score: -6

5:18pm Sat 23 Aug 14

onsidecobra says...

Well off Asians are moving into the area, a pub is not their first priority, good luck to the new landlord as I think he will need it.
Well off Asians are moving into the area, a pub is not their first priority, good luck to the new landlord as I think he will need it. onsidecobra
  • Score: 7

9:35am Sun 24 Aug 14

Real Ale Up North says...

Ian Robertson is a local hero. Proving how an ailing boozer can be saved from the likes of Enterprise Inns. Also, he has proved what a flawed business model the Pubco's operate. He obviously has lots of vision and business acumen.
All the best. I will be calling in soon.
Ian Robertson is a local hero. Proving how an ailing boozer can be saved from the likes of Enterprise Inns. Also, he has proved what a flawed business model the Pubco's operate. He obviously has lots of vision and business acumen. All the best. I will be calling in soon. Real Ale Up North
  • Score: 7

10:16pm Sun 24 Aug 14

ikap22 says...

onsidecobra wrote:
Well off Asians are moving into the area, a pub is not their first priority, good luck to the new landlord as I think he will need it.
He needs a miracle not luck!
[quote][p][bold]onsidecobra[/bold] wrote: Well off Asians are moving into the area, a pub is not their first priority, good luck to the new landlord as I think he will need it.[/p][/quote]He needs a miracle not luck! ikap22
  • Score: -1

8:27am Tue 2 Sep 14

Real Ale Up North says...

Cannot understand any negativity about this enterprising venture. Surely, it's been positivity since Ian purchased the property - and for lasting 12 months. We will see, come 23/8/15.
Cannot understand any negativity about this enterprising venture. Surely, it's been positivity since Ian purchased the property - and for lasting 12 months. We will see, come 23/8/15. Real Ale Up North
  • Score: 0
Post a comment

Remember you are personally responsible for what you post on this site and must abide by our site terms. Do not post anything that is false, abusive or malicious. If you wish to complain, please use the ‘report this post’ link.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree