£1 million plans to transform and re-open Doncaster town centre pub
A businessman has revealed his £1 million plans to breathe new life into the Woolpack pub near Doncaster market.
The Market Place site, which had been a live music venue for seven and a half years, was sold this month after being closed since last March due to coronavirus restrictions.
It has now been taken over by businessman Eric Goodwin, who already owns the nearby Courtyard bar.
Mr Goodwin plans to transform the venue into a hotel and upmarket restaurant.
He is looking at a facelift of between £750,000 and £1million for the building, which is on three floors and also has an outside area.
He said: “There will be a full refurbishment upstairs and it will be a hotel.
"Then we have not decided exactly how we will do out the downstairs, but it will definitely be around food.
"We have decided to move away from live music. I don’t think a hotel will want loud music going on downstairs late at night.”
Mr Goodwin is already talking to chefs about the possibility of them setting up restaurants downstairs at the venue. He hopes to subcontract the kitchen.
One possibility is a tea room in the front of the building, too, but some details of the project will depend on planning permission, he said.
He said: “I’ve lived in Doncaster all my life, and I’ve been running pubs here for 10 years. I absolutely love Doncaster
"We want to make this area a nice little corner of Doncaster. There is already the Red Lion nearby.”
He is hoping to be in a position to re-open in four months time and is confident the night time economy will recover.
"It may take a couple of years to get back to normal,” he said. “But social distancing did not do us any harm at the Courtyard. I love Doncaster and it is a matter of getting things ready for when things can re-open.”
The Woolpack was one of 30 venues identified as at risk of closure last year, and co-owner Chris Jones said they felt unable to open because they could not have bands on stage.
Rose of Sharyn, a tribute act performing songs by the American metal core band Killswitch Engage, was the last band to play there, in March 2020.