Landlord vows fresh start for Imperial

Mike Williams with business partner and landlady Joanne Birkhead the new owners of the Imperial on Regent Road Morecambe.
Mike Williams with business partner and landlady Joanne Birkhead the new owners of the Imperial on Regent Road Morecambe.
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The West End lost four of its best-known pubs and clubs in recent years with the closure of the Imperial, Park, Battery and the Carleton.

But the Imperial will become the first to rise from the ashes, thanks to a £10,000 facelift from a West End-born landlord with passion for the area.

Mike Williams has already transformed the King Edward pub in Lancaster and has now turned his attention to the Regent Road bar.

The Imperial had been closed for months, but Mr Williams and his business partner Joanne Birkhead will host a grand reopening this Saturday (April 27).

The Bay radio’s Danny Matthews and DJ Steve Middlesbrough will be special guests and live music will come from Phoenix Down, One Groove, Rubber Soul, Dr Paris and the Vultures, Fourth Time Around and Natural Thing, , from 2pm to 2am.

“The West End is rough and there are loads of shops where no-one has made any effort, but I was born in the West End and I feel it needs somebody to come in and try to change things a little bit,” said Mr Williams.

“If I come in here and change the external appearance, tidy it up, make it nice and bright, it might get people around here to make an effort too.

“If they do that, people will want to rent the shops and want to come back to the West End. Morecambe’s my town. I want it to come forward.”

Mr Williams said the Imperial will be a free house, not tied to any brewery, although it was a leasehold purchase.

The Imperial will also have guest rooms available and a brand new ‘Manhattan Bar’ which cost £8,500. A second bar is also planned.

Steve Middlesbrough said: “The Imperial is a traditional Morecambe pub and with the West End being renovated it will be good to get involved and do something musically in there.”