Pub Awards: Best Turnaround Pub – The Study Room, Lancaster


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The Study Room’s owner Mick Horan has had years of experience in hospitality, most recently in the Living Room group. Together with his wife Laura they launched The Study Room in April 2014 to great success.

Previously a notorious drinking den with a nefarious clientele, the former Nag’s Head shut its doors in 2012 with a warning from the local police that it would never open again as a pub, but the Horans saw its potential – and the need in the city centre for a safe, pleasant, friendly pub - so together with Punch launched a 300k refurbishment which has resulted in a light, airy, contemporary welcoming space. All the best bits have been kept – the wood floors and Edwardian tiles, and some smart additions including an attractive decked exterior space area at the rear – a great place to sit on a good day.

From a standing start they’re turning over an impressive amount a week and the once-derelict old boozer is now an impressive pub and an attractive, modern meeting place for all ages.

Live music is a big draw – the Sunday Northern Soul nights are particularly well attended - as is the quiz night, and Wednesdays in Wonderland offers a quaint afternoon tea with vintage crockery and tiny bites.

When it comes to the future, the couple are planning to cook and serve BBQ food on the terrace – and develop the empty space next door and above the pub; a bar with bedrooms perhaps?

Judge Mandy Wragg said: “This great pub on one of Lancaster’s most historic and attractive streets has been given the make-over of its life; despite the local constabulary’s prediction this former derelict old boozer welcomes all ages with no small amount of contemporary style.

“Out have gone the sticky carpets and nicotine ceilings; instead, original Edwardian floor tiles and parquet flooring have been scrubbed up, and blonde, Scandi-esque furniture installed. With real ale, crowd-pleasing food and live music at the weekend, the good people of Lancaster have got their local back.”

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