Wetherspoons open in Whittlesey, and buy former March bingo hall

PUB operator JD Wetherspoon confirmed today they have bought the Hippodrome, the former bingo hall in March.

PUB operator JD Wetherspoon confirmed today they have bought the Hippodrome, the former bingo hall in March.

The announcement came on the day the pub chain announced that its new pub in Whittlesey will open on Friday, with the creation of 50 jobs.

Mark Petrou, co owner of the Hippodrome, has declined to comment on the future of the former bingo hall which he and his family ran briefly after buying it from Wisbech entrepreneur Norman Jacobs.

Wetherspoon’s also refused to go into detail about their March purchase as they have yet to confirm a planning application for change of use but that is now expected to follow shortly.

The company, however, was happy to talk about its new Whittlesey pub where they have spent �1.2 million converting the former George and Star in Market Place which will be called by the George.

Councillor Derek Stebbing, Mayor of Whittlesey, will officially open the pub at 6.45am on Friday.

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A Grade II listed building, The George Hotel has been a town centre landmark for more than 200 years. Until the late 19th century this historic inn was called the George and Star and from c1880 it was listed in local trade directories as The George Inn.

The new pub will specialise in real ales, serving a wide range of beers, including those from local and regional brewers.

The George Hotel will be open from 7am until 12 midnight (Sunday to Thursday) and 7am until 1am Friday and Saturday. Food will be served throughout the day, until 10pm.

Children, accompanied by an adult, will be welcome in the pub until 9pm throughout the week, with last orders for food at 8pm. As a condition on the licence, both the adult and child must order a meal.

The pub will be wheelchair accessible and have a specially-adapted toilet for people with disabilities.

The new-look outlet will feature one bar, as well as a beer garden, to the side of the premises, where smoking will be permitted.

Photos and information boards relating to the history and characters of the area, together with commissioned artwork, will be displayed in the pub.

Manager Andy Hewson said: “I am looking forward to welcoming customers into the pub and am confident that it will be a good addition to Whittlesey’s social scene.”

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