Cheer and beer as MP marks revamp of pub

Robert Goodwill MP pours a pint during his visit to The Dickens Bar and Inn (formerly known as The Pickwick Inn).

Robert Goodwill MP pours a pint during his visit to The Dickens Bar and Inn (formerly known as The Pickwick Inn).

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MP for Scarborough and Whitby, Robert Goodwill, joined customers and staff to celebrate the £450,000 refurbishment of The Pickwick Inn.

The pub, on Huntriss Row, has reopened as The Dickens Bar and Inn, creating 12 new jobs in the process.

Robert Goodwill MP.

Robert Goodwill MP.

The pub has been stripped back completely and the two separate bars have been replaced with a stylish new one.

The pub’s 11 B&B rooms have been given new en-suite bathrooms and ongoing refurbishment work will see all the rooms redecorated, too.

Originally named after Dickens’ first novel, The Pickwick Papers, with dining offered in the pub’s Copperfield Restaurant, the new name is further reference to Dickens who gave readings at the Scarborough Assembly Rooms in 1858 where an English Heritage blue plaque commemorates his visit to the premises on the same street as the pub.

Although making reference to the writer and social critic, the refurbishment is anything but Dickensian in style.

Kathleen Howard has run The Pickwick Inn for the past two and a half years, and her parents ran it for 10 years before that.

She said: “The Pickwick Inn has been part of my family for such a long time and I’m so excited, with the support from Punch, to have the chance to stamp my own mark on it and develop the business.

“Punch’s design team has come up with a fantastic scheme and transformed the Pickwick Inn into a stylish, traditional venue.

I’m hoping that the changes we are making will broaden the pub’s appeal and The Dickens Bar & Inn will become the first choice in Scarborough for customers looking for a warm welcome and a great time.”

Robert Goodwill MP said: “I was very impressed with the refurbishment of the pub and like its new name.

“The fact that the improvements have created an additional 12 new jobs for the area is also a bonus.

“It’s clear that Kathleen and her team have all the right ingredients to make the pub a great success.

“Customer service at the heart of everything they do and there is plenty of choice for customers in terms of food and entertainment to keep everyone happy. I wish them all the best for the future.”

Caroline Edwards, new business development manager for Punch, said: “Our investment in the former Pickwick Inn pub marks a new era for the pub.”