It’s ten years since a cultural and drinking rebirth began for one Preston pub.Advertisement
The ‘New’ Continental began its resurrection in 2008 and has become a city institution once more.
A much-loved pub during the 1970s, 80s and 90s it fell into trouble in the 2000s and was eventually closed down by its brewery.
Enter Jeremy Rowlands and Ruth Heritage who took it on, ripped it out and saw it reborn as a foodie hotspot, a place for real ale fans and arts venue all rolled into one. Plus having one of the best beer gardens in the city.
Blog Preston readers in July this year rated the pub as their favourite in the city with it scoring more than 500 upvotes in our poll, more than 100 clear of any other of the city’s pubs.
Read more: Moorbrook owner takes on former Preston pub vowing to give it a rebirth
Food has been a big part of the Conti’s rise, with husband-and-wife team Stephen and Deborah Kerfoot recruited from the Running Pump in Catforth.
What used to be the Captain Coconuts kids play area became the Conti’s live venue, with comedy nights, live music and much more taking place.
The Wedding Present, Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth), and John Bramwell (I Am Kloot) among those to appear there and it’s a hotbed of alternative acts and shows.
And there’s the Beer Festival, which has become one of the biggest dates in the city’s drinking calendar with hundreds of ales, craft beers, gins and more on offer.
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Since the opening of the Conti, Rowlands has gone on to run a number of pubs and venues across the city – as well as helping a number of others become established. Heritage has gone to lead They Eat Culture and established the People’s Production Lab in Guildhall Street.
Ten years in and the Conti seems to be going as strong as ever. Cheers to ten more!
What do you think of the Conti? Do you drink or eat there? Let us know your memories of the last decade (if you can remember!) in the comments below