A VICTORIAN coaching inn near Carlisle is to re-open just before Christmas.
The Sally at Irthington – formerly known as The Salutation Inn – is currently undergoing a major £150,000 refurbishment.
The plans include six en-suite guest bedrooms and seating for 55 diners.
New joint owners Shaun Gardner and Jimmy Little want The Sally to become the hub of the local community.
“It will also be a great meeting place for people from nearby parishes that have lost their pubs and other amenities in recent years, “said Shaun.
“It’s a historic pub in a lovely area and deserves to be at the heart of village life. We’ve already had cheering messages of support from locals.
For Jimmy Little, who is also head chef, it is a homecoming.
“My parents Billy and Anne Little live locally and I started washing pots here when I was 12 years old,” he said.
He eventually became the head chef, leaving in 2002 for The Highland Laddie at Todhills.
For the last six years he and Shaun ran The Brewery House at Workington.
After The Salutation Inn closed in 2016 a local group Save Irthington Parish Pubs tried to raise enough money to buy it.
“The heart of that campaign was to ensure that a pub serving good food and drinks remained at the heart of our community,” explained chair Emma Skelton.
“We are delighted that this is now the case and wish Shaun and Jimmy every success for the future.”
The Sally’s proximity to the Hadrian’s Wall walking trail and Reivers cycle route helped persuade Shaun and Jimmy to invest in accommodation.
“We believe there is a demand for good quality, reasonably priced accommodation for visitors and tourists,” said Shaun.
The lunch and dinner menus will offer traditional English pub grub with some popular European dishes.
“We expect to open on or before December 19th and we have already got bookings from individuals and social groups,” added Jimmy.
The pub will employ about 10 people. Local tradesmen Martin Forster, Phil Short, Dave Horsley and Trevor McVittie are undertaking the renovation and Carlisle designer Lisa Anderson is creating the interior look.
The pub was built in 1895.