Hunters Hall, the JD Wetherspoon pub in Galashiels’ High Street, opened its doors on Tuesday following a £800k refurbishment.
Take a look round the newly-refurbished pub here
And, with the popular establishment adding extra seating in the former butchers’ shop next door, doubling the number of covers to 250, the pub has taken on 20 new staff.
Manager Matthew Blackburn told the Southern he loved the makeover.
He said: “It’s amazing. I like that they have kept the original stonework, while managing to retain a modern feel.
“And as we have knocked through to the old butchers’ shop, we tried to keep the feel of the shop, with some of the fixtures, such as the old scales and pictures.
“We’ve invested in the community, creating something the people of Galashiels and beyond will enjoy.
“We’ll be looking to keep that going as well, with some charity events in the pipeline.”
The new ground-floor area is extended to 4,401sq ft and has a newly-refurbished 1,357sq ft outdoor seating area, which makes use of an old barn-style storage area at the back of the butchers’ shop, which has seating made from hard-wearing reclaimed plastic, made to look like wood.
The new-look pub design has aimed to revitalise authentic artwork pieces, relevant to the history of the former family-run business, including vintage weighing scales used throughout the past century, and lights made out of meat hooks.
The original pub, which first opened in October 1999, is housed in the former West United Presbyterian Church first used as a subscription school and converted into a relief church shortly after.
Many original features and details have been recovered and preserved. A double-height ceiling in the bar area is now filled with natural light as the windows in the roof have been cleared, and bespoke church-inspired pendant light fittings have also been installed.
The bar itself has been modernised, and more space has been provided for draught beers.
Old Galashiels town directory advertisements have been researched and reproduced as artwork, such as a page from the old Galashiels Gazette, celebrating the historic trades and helping to create an iconic piece of history.
Complete redecoration within the pub includes a mixture of loose and fixed seating. The design features dark wooden traditional panelling, green and red upholstery, and antique brass detailing throughout.
Butcher Jim Hogg, who closed his shop back in 2013 after 50 years in the trade – some of them alongside his brother George, officially opened the pub at 10am on Tuesday by cutting the ribbon.
He told us: “It’s excellent. I’m so pleased with what they have done, not only with the interior of our old building, but with the exterior and the inside of their own building. It’s fabulous, it’s certainly been worth the wait.”