The pub, situated in the heart of Stockport’s historic market place, closed last Christmas much to the disappointment of their locals. Robinsons Brewery was quick to respond and pledged its commitment to the historic site and to the regeneration of Stockport as a whole.
Fast forward several months and the Bakers Vaults is ready to rise again with an award winning team at the helm. Jonny, Jamie and Rupert, respected publicans and licensees of several establishments in Manchester’s affluent Northern Quarter, decided to take up the challenge.
“We saw an opportunity to get stuck in with the burgeoning regeneration of the historic Market Place” said Jonny. “The Bakers has always been known as a music venue but a lot of people don’t know its history as a turn of the century gin palace.”
The pub was previously known as the George and Dragon and was built around 1775 on the remaining foundations of the old Stockport castle. The original building, demolished in the late 19thcentury, was renamed the Bakers Vaults and rebuilt in the so-called ‘gin palace’ style of the times
“The pub has always been full of character,” said Tony Massey, Business Development Manager for Robinsons Brewery, “but it became very apparent after discussing with Jonny and his team that the inside of the pub was not going to match their vision and needed a dramatic facelift. Our brewery design team were set with the monumental task of creating a new look for such a well-loved site.”
The interior of the Bakers Vaults has seen a dramatic change in colour scheme which uses a palette of greys and dark blues to create an airy and open feel. There are feature walls covered in a distinctive style featuring postage stamps, letter trays and inspirational quotations. New lighting fixtures have been added which hang down around the bar area and across a new two-level decking area. A new kitchen has been installed which will accompany a modest food offer. The biggest change, however, has been the movement of the central bar.
“The old bar presented some difficulty from the beginning” recalls Tony. “The pub is a grade 2 listed building which meant a lot of red tape when it came to movement of its internal features. Thankfully, after working hand in hand with Stockport Council, we were able reposition the bar and open the place up.”
The bar is now situated more towards the rear of the pub creating a larger space for additional seating and increased visibility of the bar’s brand new cask offering which features a whopping ten hand-pulls and a selection of rotating cask ale from Robinsons and Titanic breweries; the largest cask offering in any Robinson’s pub.
“It’s really reinvigorated the place” said Jamie. “We had heard rumours online that the pub was being made into a carvery which couldn’t be further from the truth. We have gone back to the Bakers Vault’s roots and re-established it as a great pub with a huge range of craft beers, spirits and ales.”
“We hope this will be the catalyst for change in Stockport” said Tony. “We are already seeing many boutique and independent shops opening up around the Market Place and we want to help drive people back to Stockport. It is, after all, our heartland. We’ve had many of the market traders help throughout the development process and we really couldn’t have got this far without them. We really want to make a special thank you to Lorraine Cain who volunteered to move her stall for the first time in over 50 years to allow the Bakers Vaults more visibility on the Market Place. Everyone has mucked in together for the benefit of the town.”
In closing, Jonny said: “We’ve been blown away by the support of the local community and we want to invite everyone to our grand opening on Friday 11th July from 12 noon. Come and experience this new chapter of the Bakers Vaults with us. We hope you won’t be disappointed!”