The results of a £385,000 investment in a prime Durham City site will go on show to the public tomorrow when Missoula opens its doors.
Formerly Slug and Lettuce, which pulled its last pint at the end of August, the new bar hopes to become a flagship destination in the Walkergate complex.
Though still operated by Stonegate Pubs, Missoula is one of its more premium brands with the Durham site the first the open in the North East.
As well as a complete makeover, the pub has changed its ethos. It’s now aiming for the family and food market during the day, while at night it aims to become a popular late night bar with guest DJs including former JLS member Marvin Humes, Towie star Lauren Pope and Capital Radio DJ Roman Kemp, as well as guest appearances from Love Island contestants including Alex Bowen.
General manager Steve Rucastle said: “The whole idea is to make it more of a transitional venue. During the day we’re aimed at casual dining, tourists and students.
“Post 10pm we’re aiming for a new market. We’ve always been a circuit bar but now we want to become a destination bar. This is Stonegate’s flagship pub in the North East and the Missoula brand has proved popular elsewhere in the country.”
The food menu, which is served until 9pm, includes tapas planks, hand-rolled burritos and pizzas while the drinks menu includes cocktails, American craft beers, a range of proseccos and more.
Missoula will launch with a VIP night tonight and will be open to the public from 11am on Saturday.
Steve said: “We want to change the perception of what we were as Slug and Lettuce, which is why so much investment has been made in the renovation. We’ve also extended our family hours so that children are allowed in until 8pm.
“We had some soft launches this week ahead of the opening night and the feedback has been great. People seem to really like the new look and the food has proved more popular than we expected.
“Walkergate is a very popular complex, and while there has been a few new openings, this is the biggest one for a few years.”