An abandoned office building in Oldham town centre is being turned into a speciality beer bar by an award-winning local landlady.
The site on Greaves Street used to house an alcohol and drug dependency service – but now it will be turned into a small two-storey pub.
The Fox and Pine Tap will have around eight real ale hand pumps, eight ciders, and four speciality craft beers, as well as a state-of-the-art gin mixer tap.
Owner Michelle Riley, who is also behind the Cob and Coal market bar, hopes to be ready to welcome customers from the end of July.
The Cob and Coal was recently crowned Cider Pub of the Year by the Rochdale, Oldham and Bury branch of CAMRA, and when she was in charge of the Tandle Hill Tavern it was named pub of the year at the Manchester Food and Drink Festival Awards.
She also set up Facebook group The Isolation Inn, a virtual pub with more than 30,000 members that organises quiz nights and has helped people to stay connected throughout lockdown.
Her new site sits in an area near the town hall that’s been targeted by Oldham Council for regeneration.
It’s hoped that the streets around Union Street will become recognised as Oldham’s ‘Independent Quarter’, a modern high street that will attract visitors and boost the local offering.
The building, originally a grocer’s shop in the 1800s, was vacant until Michelle began to turn it into her 70-cover pub (subject to social distancing rules).
She said: “I think it will be great for Oldham – it’s just off the tram.
“It often feels like people are bypassing Oldham on the tram and going into Rochdale for a night out – we want to stop that.”
The Fox and Pine Tap is expected to open later this summer.