Pubs and Bars

Rainhill pub reopens after £800,000 refurb

The renovation has included the creation of new bar and dining areas, an ice cream parlour, coffee lounge, self-contained function room, and the installation of new toilets, wheel-chair accessible entrances and a commercial kitchen

The Cookhouse Pub and Carvery, based in Rainhill, has reopened following a five-month closure and a £800,000 refurbishment by Heineken-owned Star Pubs and Bars and Merseyside-based Public Urban Bars.

The refurbishment of The Cookhouse Pub and Carvery, formerly named The Victoria, is part of a £38m investment that Star Pubs and Bars is making in more than 700 pubs in 2021, and it has created 40 new jobs at the site.

The venue now boasts a revamped interior complete with bar and dining areas, an ice cream parlour, a coffee lounge and a self-contained function room. 

Additionally, its relandscaped garden has seating for 200 people and features a large children’s playground and a covered pergola for year-round alfresco eating and drinking.  

The Cookhouse’s extensive overhaul has reportedly taken three months to complete, and the pub’s exterior has been fully renovated with new planting, lighting and signage. 

Work to the inside has included a contemporary design and the installation of new toilets, wheel-chair accessible entrances and a commercial kitchen, and Rainhill resident Sean Tate has been appointed head chef.

The function room is being made available to local causes in need of meeting space, and the pub is reportedly launching an events programme to provide residents with entertainment, ranging from performances by tribute bands and comedy nights to a kids’ cinema club and parties. 

 According to new licensee, Robert Ashpital, The Cookhouse is “like a totally different pub with something for everyone”. He said he wants The Cookhouse to be “a hub of local life that supports the community”. 

Ashpital said: “The reaction from the village has been phenomenal. There’s a real buzz and excitement in Rainhill about the opening. I’ve worked in hospitality for more than 20 years and never known anything like it.

“I love seeing people enjoy themselves and feel fortunate to be part of a pub that will offer so much. We’ve already been inundated with function room bookings, and our Halloween party for eighty children sold out in days.” 

Phil McWilliam, Star Pubs and Bars’ area manager, said: “The Cookhouse is a real landmark of Rainhill. We’re pleased to have helped bring it back to life for the whole community to enjoy. The scale of the investment shows: the pub looks fantastic and has amazing facilities.”

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