MP Toasts transformation of The Harraby Pub & Kitchen

MP Toasts transformation of The Harraby Pub & Kitchen

MP for Carlisle, John Stevenson, took his turn behind the bar at The Harraby Pub & Kitchen on Harraby Grove in Carlisle to find out how landlords Maria and Ian Coulthard have turned around the pub’s fortunes since taking it on six months ago.

The pub, which had been closed for a year and a half, was completely transformed by a £500k refurbishment by Star Pubs & Bars which created a comfortable and welcoming environment.  It reopened in May as a family friendly local with 60% of its trade coming from families.  It is now a popular busy pub, especially at weekends with its all-day Sunday lunch regularly attracting 80 diners.

Since taking on the The Harraby Pub & Kitchen, Maria and Ian have rooted the pub at the heart of the community.   It is the only pub within a mile radius to offer food, coffee and wi-fi and a range of entertainment and now has two darts teams, a pool team and a quiz team, all of whom participate in local leagues. 

The couple have also made the Eden Valley Hospice their designated charity and raise money for this and other local causes.  In December, they plan to host a lunch with a local charity for people who don’t get out much as part of Heineken’s Brewing Good Cheer campaign, which raises awareness about loneliness and how it affects people, young and old, during the festive period.

Much to the delight of regulars, Maria and Ian will also open the pub on Christmas Day.  They will start serving their Christmas menu on 1st December and are taking bookings for functions and family events.  

On the 18th November as well as their usual Sunday lunches, they’ll be hosting a Christmas craft fair in their carpark from 12.00 to 3.00p.m. with stalls run by local traders.

Maria said: “It’s been a great few months weather wise and from a trading perspective.  Our new bi-fold doors leading to the south-facing terrace were open most of the summer the weather was so good.  Next year, we’re going to install an outside play area as so many families now use the pub.

“It’s been lovely to see The Harraby Pub & Kitchen become a welcoming family friendly place used by the community.  There is nothing like it nearby.  We serve food all day even though it is a local community pub and have different offers every day of the week, which together with our monthly live music gets people out socialising.

“We’d like to thank our staff for their hard work, all our customers for supporting us over the last six months and to thank the community for making us feel so welcome.”

Gary Corney, regional operations director of Star Pubs & Bars added: “Ian and Maria have done a great job with The Harraby Pub & Kitchen.  The investment transformed the look and feel of the pub, but it is Ian and Maria who’ve put the soul into it and made it the heart of the community.  Pubs Like The Harraby Pub & Kitchen play an important role as social hubs for local people and need support.”

Quote from John Stevenson, MP: “I am delighted that such a large investment has been made in a Carlisle venture which has resulted in a pub being reopened and refurbished. It is clear that the present landlords have worked hard to root the pub into the community and I commend their efforts in supporting a local charity; Eden Valley Hospice.

“Their participation in Heineken’s campaign against loneliness further enhances the pub’s benefit to the community surrounding it. I wish both Maria and Ian well at The Harraby Pub & Kitchen.”