Historic Newtongrange pub set for an upgrade

The Dean Tavern, Newtongrange

The Dean Tavern, Newtongrange

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Plans to improve a community pub to encourage more people to use it were revealed last week, with work due to start in the coming months.

The Dean Tavern in Newtongrange was opened in 1899 and has been run for the community by the community since. It was recently voted as the best place for a pint in Midlothian, in the Midlothian Food and Drink Awards.

Speaking at last week’s Newtongrange Community Council meeting, held in the pub, Blair Watson of the Dean Tavern Trust revealed the plans to renovate the main hall there.

He said: “We are trying to bring the hall out of the late ’60s, early ’70s. It’s something that needs to be done. The work is going to get started and finished this year.

“It will have bespoke new floors, a new ceiling and all new walls as well.

“It was proposed to have a miner’s wheel right along the wall but it will probably just go along the front of the bar now.

“At the moment the hall is just used for buffets and things. It’s just another room like this one we are in now.

“We want to try to attract more people to it.

“The work will take four to six weeks to carry out.

“We are looking at a September start date now.”

The works in the pub’s main hall will include a wall being knocked down, new air conditioning, refurbishment of the bar, and the stage will be moved into the corner to create more space for tables and chairs.

Blair added: “I can’t wait, I’m pretty excited about it.

“It’s our pub and the way I see it is it’s a pub for the whole community. So it’s important to the area.

“With this project, all we are trying to do is keep it fit and healthy for future generations.

“And we are now serving food in the Dean. So hopefully that will give people another reason to come here.”

The possibility of the pub becoming an Edinburgh Festival venue was also discussed.