A PUB owner is hoping a relaunch will help to play a part in breathing new life into a once-thriving drinking hotspot.
Linda Baker has ran The Loft, in Hartlepool’s Church Street for the last three years.
But even though customer numbers have dropped in many of the town’s pubs and clubs in recent years, Linda has refused to throw the towel in and hopes a relaunch will attract some new punters to the area.
From tonight, the pub has been renamed Reflections, and will feature a champagne and cocktail bar upstairs as well as the main bar area downstairs.
Linda said: “A few years ago, Church Street used to be packed but for a variety of reasons it’s quiet now.
“People can get cheap drink in the supermarkets so don’t come out as much. The smoking ban had an effect as well.
“There have been times when we have been open and hardly had anyone in. When you’re paying staff and doormen, it’s hard to make ends meet and you wonder if you will make enough money by the end of the night to pay the workers.
“I sympathise with people who have had to close pubs, but I’m hoping a relaunch will help us and I hope Church Street can get back to how it used to be.”
Linda, who has been in the licensing trade for 14 years, added: “We’ve brought in a champagne and cocktail bar upstairs which is quite exclusive, and I’m hoping to attract some older clientele like couples in who may not have come in in the past.
“We’re also looking to open a bit earlier and put food on, as well as Sunday lunches in a couple of weeks.”