MP for Carlisle John Stevenson visited The St Nicholas Arms on London Road to toast the landmark pub’s revival following a £180,000 refurbishment. The pub had been closed for 18 months and its reopening has created 10 new jobs.
The overhaul has given The St Nicholas Arms a stylish new look, created a pretty outdoor area for alfresco eating and drinking and introduced freshly prepared food and a new drinks selection, ranging from barista coffee to craft beers and cocktails. A host of activities such as sports screenings, acoustic music evenings, quiz nights, and pool and darts also give people more reasons to visit.
The St Nicholas’ new licensee Alison Mitchell, who comes from Carlisle, says she has been “bowled over” by the response of local residents to the pub’s new direction. Says Alison: “The most common reaction is ‘wow’. The pub’s former regulars have returned – they used to come in on their own but now bring their partners – and we’re seeing lots of new faces as well as people who’ve not been in for many years. The garden is a real hit – it’s a great place to watch the world go by and is packed out on sunny days. The food is also proving very popular, particularly Sunday lunch and our signature dish – The St Nicolas Tower – which fly out the door.”
Adds Alison: “I’ve always wanted a pub of my own. It’s been worth the wait to get such a well-known Carlisle local. I enjoyed many happy times at The St Nicholas in my younger days so it’s special to me. The revamp is just what the pub needed and I’m very grateful to the community for their tremendous support.”
John Stevenson MP states: “It is good to see investment in Carlisle. The investment in The St Nicholas Arms has enabled the restoration of a historic building, created new jobs and contributed to a greater offer of hospitality in our city. Alison and her team have done a fantastic job and I hope this encourages further regeneration in Carlisle.”