Manchester brewer saves city centre pub from closure

One of Manchester`s oldest watering holes has been saved from permanent closure and can look forward to a new lease of life thanks to the Joseph Holt Brewery.

The independent family business, which already owns 127 pubs, has sealed the deal to buy the Lower Turk’s Head & Scuttlers Wine Bar, a move, it says, which reflects its ongoing commitment to rejuvenating Manchester city centre as we finally come out of lockdown.

The Manchester-based brewery plans to drop the name Scuttlers Wine Bar so the pub will become known purely as Lower Turk’s Head, offering the full range of award winning Joseph Holt cask ales and lagers at the Shudehill pub, with plans to introduce a unique food offering later in the year.

And as one of central Manchester`s few small hotels, the venue will also offer bed and breakfast accommodation which the brewery intends to keep and let out as the city centre starts to recover.

The Lower Turk’s Head joins Joseph Holt’s established stable of city centre pubs, which includes the Ape and Apple, the Crown and Anchor, the Old Monkey, the Eagle Inn and The Shamrock, which the company purchased in 2018 and plans to re-open following a full redevelopment in 2022.

The Lower Turk’s Head already has a long history on Manchester`s hospitality map.

Dating back to 1745, The Lower Turk’s Head was once an old stagecoach stop and enjoyed a proud heritage through successive centuries before closing its doors last August.

Inside the deceptively deep and roomy venue, the pub is crammed with distinctive fixtures and fittings including a long wooden bar, checkerboard floors, wooden staircases, cut tables and cubby hole seating.

And its ornately tiled façade makes it a distinctive landmark in the centre of Manchester, close to Victoria rail station.

The brewery intends to retain all the historical features while giving the pub a renovation to make it a destination for city dwellers, visitors to the Northern Quarter and tourists using the Shudehill bus and coach terminal.

Brewery marketing manager, Paul Longmire, said: “Joseph Holt is deeply entrenched in the history of Manchester and sees the Lower Turk’s Head as part of that heritage, too.

“Our brewery has a keen sense of nostalgia, but as much as we treasure the past, Joseph Holt regards it as a way of guaranteeing the future of the city, too . We`re sure the Lower Turk’s Head, along with our other central Manchester pubs, will lead the way in bringing drinkers back into the city.”

The brewery intends to reopen the venue in June when there are hopefully less restrictions facing the hospitality industry.