Hull's Old Zoological pub to reopen as Pearsons after takeover
A LONG-TIME member of the Avenues landscape is getting a new image and a new name.
The Old Zoological, in Princes Avenue, has been taken over by local businessmen Adrian Black and Andrew Westerdale, who said they hope to bring "some new life" to the area.
"We're completely rebranding it with a new name, completely refurbishing it and having a new exterior," said Mr Black.
The historic pub was built on the site of the former Botanic Gardens railway station waiting room.
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Mr Black and Mr Westerdale took over the pub last month and also own Garbutts, further down the avenue.
The new owners are renaming it Pearsons, after nearby Pearson Park.
Mr Westerdale said: "The Old Zoological has had a lot of bad press and bad stigma and we want to get rid of that."
The pub was closed from Monday for refurbishment and will be reopening on March 25.
Mr Black said Garbutts has become well known in Princes Avenue and hopes Pearsons will be the same.
Mr Westerdale said: "The first couple of months are the honeymoon period – some people will like it, some won't."
The venue first opened as a pub in 1994, taking its name from the Victorian zoological gardens off Spring Bank.
Although it will only be down the road from Garbutts, Mr Westerdale is keen to establish it as a separate enterprise.
He said: "We're giving it it's own identity.
"It's going to have a different feel and decor to Garbutts and a different menu and food."
The Old Zoological already holds a later licence than most of the bars in the area, opening at weekends until 1am.
Mr Westerdale hopes customers in the Avenues will "finish at the zoo" on a night out.
He said: "We've looked at sites before in the city centre but it really struggles in the night-time economy.
"People like the café culture down here, where you can sit outside and enjoy a couple of drinks.
"This area works for us because we have a more mature clientele."