PLAU in Friargate opening after lockdown – with new roof terrace to follow

Posted on - 23rd July, 2020 - 4:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Business, Food & Drink, Friargate, Preston City Centre, Preston News, Pubs, Restaurants in Preston, What's On in Preston
PLAU bar after the renovation Pic: Rose Peploe
PLAU bar after the renovation Pic: Rose Peploe

PLAU Gin and Beer House is reopening its doors today (Thursday 23 July), as the coronavirus lockdown is eased.


The Friargate bar has been closed for four months but is looking forward to welcoming patrons back for food and drinks.

During the closure, the bar has been offering a takeaway drinks service, offering a variety of beers and wine for people to collect.

The lockdown has allowed work to be done on the roof terrace renovations including laying insulation, underfloor heating, and tiling.

The work has been delayed by about a week but the roof terrace will be opening soon after the restaurant and bar welcomes customers back.

The terrace which will be opening once the renovations are complete
PLAU is set to open a roof terrace, which will include underfloor heating Pic: PLAU Gin and Beer House

Nick Elsby, marketing manager for the bar, said: “We’re really excited to reopen PLAU again. It’s not been the same without customers in cosy corners! 

“Table layouts have changed to ensure adequate distancing.

“Our seating capacity has taken a hit so our immediate plan was to expand to the fifth floor on the roof.

“We’re actually building it in two phases. The first phase will be a temporary open-air terrace for the summer season and the second phase involves enclosing a section of it with a glass-house style orangery.

“The original roof required a section removing so we could build a structural perimeter wall to ensure nobody falls off.

“In order to have a floor suitable for the second phase, we need to lay insulation, underfloor heating and tiling but the roof surface must be bone-dry before we can start.

“If anyone could order three days of continuous sunshine on same day delivery, it would be highly appreciated! So unfortunately, the terrace has been delayed a little.”

During lockdown, the family-owned pub won the ‘Conversion Award’ at CAMRA’s prestigious Pub Design Awards.

Read more: Preston bar PLAU wins national award

Nick said: “We’ve not actually served a customer inside PLAU since winning CAMRA and Historic England’s national award for Best Conversion to Pub Use.

“All new food menus have been crafted as our original signature theme of ‘social dining’ with small sharing plates isn’t as appropriate in the current climate.”

“As many other bars, pubs and restaurants are experiencing, reopening isn’t just a case of getting some fresh beer on and opening the doors. It’s taken weeks of meticulous planning and testing.”

Read More: Preston high street recovering post-lockdown

PLAU is famous to Prestonians for its 18th century gin distillery and a 40-foot medieval well below the cellar.

A photo from Plau before renovations
Owner Jeremy found out the premises was built in the 17th Century Pic: PLAU Gin and Beer House

Owners Jeremy and Rebecca Rowlands, who also own the Continental, discovered the well after purchasing the second part of the building and have covered it in glass to let customers see it for themselves when visiting the bar.

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The bar, which has a rich history with Jeremy having traced the building back to 1668, was transformed during a three-year renovation project.

Jeremy believes that the original building was constructed by either John Chorley or John Chorley Junior, who were both Mayors of Preston in their time.

The doors will open at 4.30pm on Thursday and bookings will be required for a drinks and food and can be made on the PLAU website.

Read moreSee the latest Preston news and headlines

Will you be heading back to PLAU this week? Let us know in the comments.

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