A historic pub will reopen its doors this Friday after the second major makeover in a year.
The Three Horseshoes Hotel, opposite Nissan, has been taken over by Tavistock Hospitality Limited, the Sunderland-based leisure firm which runs the Roker Hotel.
Only last year, the century-old pub underwent a major transformation with a military theme in homage to its location in the shadow of the former RAF Usworth base.
But the venture failed to take flight. Now Tavistock have taken over the pub and hope to draw in custom from around the area.
The new look Three Horseshoes will open for business on Friday after more than £75,000 of investment, which has created 20 jobs. In the coming months, the new owners plan to operate the site as a hotel, to add to the pub and restaurant offering.
The venue will become part of the Sonnet 43 Brew House family of pubs, with craft ales produced at its own brewery in County Durham, as well as original spirits from sister distillery Poetic License, which is based at the Roker Hotel.
Mark Hird, managing director of Tavistock Hospitality, said: “I’m pleased to be bringing the Three Horseshoes Hotel under Sonnet 43’s umbrella. It was, and still is, my aim to have 12 Sonnet 43 venues and I think this pub, with a touch of the unmistakable Tavistock charm, will be a great addition to the business.”
The new food menu is described as “modern British with a twist” and will include pub favourites and bar snacks alongside pizzas cooked in a specially-imported wood-fired oven.
Mark added: “We’ve always been passionate about keeping it local wherever possible, it’s a core value of our business, and the Three Horseshoes Hotel is no different.
“Our ethos is to continually excite our diners with seasonal dishes. We’ll have some staple dishes but we also have the flexibility so we can serve what is tasting great right now with our ever-changing specials.”
As part of the takeover and refit, the pub’s kitchen has increased in size to improve capabilities and service a greater number of diners.
Once open to the public, the next phase of redevelopment will begin in order to create bedrooms on the first floor of the pub, for a boutique B&B offering.
“We really want to breathe some life back into this venue” Mark said. “We’ll be introducing live music on Friday nights and Sunday afternoons as well as a pub quiz and the bedrooms will be available for stay-overs from spring this year.
“We’re hopeful it will become somewhat of a destination venue, as well as an inviting place for Nissan staff and other workers from the surrounding areas to relax after their shifts, due to its proximity.”
The Three Horseshoes Hotel is the first of three new venue launches over the next six months for Tavistock. Another Sonnet 43 pub is planned to open at the end of February, with a new site located in the North West - Tavistock’s first outside the region - due to launch in the spring.