Business breathes life into historic landmark

Crewe Guardian: Richard Shaw (right) and Karl Unitt outside Wilbrahams Richard Shaw (right) and Karl Unitt outside Wilbrahams

A NANTWICH landmark has reopened after being transformed into a stylish bar and restaurant.

Wilbrahams has thrown open its doors to lovers of hearty food and drink after a £150,000 make-over.

It marks a return to Nantwich for business partners Richard Shaw and Karl Unitt who previously ran Curshaws, a stone’s throw away on Welsh Row for nearly 10 years.

The pair, who also own The Glasshouse in Sandbach, believe the impressive Georgian venue has all the ingredients for success.

Richard, who heads up the kitchen staff, said: “We were sorry to leave Nantwich four years ago but the Glasshouse has been a tremendous success.

“Our aim is to replicate that business model at Wilbrahams by serving well-cooked simple food at a price everyone can afford.

“An average meal here is £10. We like to give everyone the chance to eat out.”

The former Wilbraham Arms stood empty and in a state of ruin for more than two years before a face-lift project, blending modern style with original features, started in the summer.

It was named after the Wilbraham family who famously founded almshouses for the ‘impoverished men folk of Nantwich’ and a pub has stood on the site since the 18th century.

More than 20 new jobs have been created at the venue which specialises in steaks, burgers and grilled chicken dishes.

Karl said: “It’s great to be back in the heart of things in Nantwich. The town never loses its appeal as a night time destination.

“Our opening week couldn’t have done any better. We’ve had a full house for Sunday lunch and Christmas bookings are already flooding in.”

Just an opening banner outside triggered applications from 200 people looking for kitchen and front of house positions.

Karl added: “The response was amazing, giving us the opportunity to select some really high-calibre staff.”

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