Town’s train station to house ‘opulent’ new bar

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Harrogate’s train station is to finally get its own pub - with work underway to transform a traditional red brick building into an “opulent” bar.

The Harrogate Taps, expected to open in early September, is to be housed in a red brick building next to the station’s short-stay car park.

An ambitious transformation is underway, with half a million pounds being spent to demolish unsightly extensions, re-roof the old building, and renovate the inside.

“We are looking to transform one of the most horrible parts of Harrogate,” said Jamie Hawksworth, managing director of the pub company Pivovar which is planning the new bar.

“You walk out of the train station and Harrogate town centre is wonderful. But when you turn around, you are faced with this dreadful eyesore.

“We get to undo all the terrible things that have been done to this building. People will be astonished when they see the end result.”

The building, owned by Network Rail and leased to Pivovar, is a former refreshments room and station bar which has stood empty for many years.

It stands at the side of the station entrance, overlooking a short-stay car park next to the bus station.

The plans would transform it into a bar serving specialist ales and traditional meals, with seating for around 100 people.

Work is underway at the moment to demolish an extension at the side of the building, replace windows, doors, and a leaky roof.

Pivovar, which owns Tap bars in York and Sheffield train stations, says it will be a sympathetic renovation which will make the most of the building’s original features.

There will a mahogany bar, crushed velvet curtains, mosaic tiles and a handcrafted plaster ceiling costing £35,000.

“More than 30 years of proposals and plans coming to nothing have left the building more and more derelict,” said Mr Hawksworth.

“Every plan has been so huge that every scheme has been axed and nothing has happened.

“It’s not a classical fit, it’s not a shell for us to fill. We’ve got a full-scale restoration on our hands. And the scale of this is far greater than anything we’ve done before. It will be opulent.

“It’s an enormous amount of work but we will make this happen.”

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