Lee Kirman reopens Hull's Minerva Pub with promise of home-cooking and real ale
AN HISTORIC pub forced to close its doors after a licensing glitch in the summer will reopen in time for Christmas.
The Minerva Pub in Nelson Street on Hull Marina shut last month after facing problems during Freedom Festival weekend.
But it has now been snapped up by experienced landlord Lee Kirman who will welcome old and new customers on Friday.
Lee said the business venture will be something of a family affair, with his father, step-mother and partner working at the iconic venue.
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He said: "It is a pub I have fancied taking on for years. We are looking forward to reopening it.
"I am not sure what happened to the staff who worked there before it closed but one girl will be helping us out.
"We will be serving home-cooked food and hope it will be busy over the Christmas period."
The Minerva was previously run by landlord Phil Daly. He missed out on making between £25,000 and £40,000 when visitors flocked to Hull Marina for the Freedom Festival after licensing officers found its premises licence had expired. Mr Daly claimed the money would have helped the business survive winter.
New landlord Lee hopes to build the business back up.
He also runs Oscars in the Old Town and The Kingston Hotel in Trinity House Lane in the city, while his father Stan runs Ruscadors in Queen Street.
Lee said: "The building belongs to Hull City Council and there were quite a few fighting for the position.
"They wanted someone quickly.
"I have now moved in with my partner Charlotte.
"We have spent about £6,000 redecorating and cleaning the place and it is looking great.
"The old brewery room is also going to be used for functions and private parties."
Lee is set to meet with a licensing officer today to discuss the pub's future.
He says he will not be missing out on Freedom Festival next year.
"We will not be making the same mistake," he said. "And although this area has struggled during the winter, there are plenty of people about and it is picking up.
"There is a lot going on down Humber Street bringing people to this part of the city.
"We have two events planned already for next year.
"I am thinking of hosting a craft beer festival. I also want to set up a mini-marquee outside so even if the weather is horrid, it will pull people in."
Lee's step-mother Christine will be taking over kitchen duties at the pub, serving everything from crusty home-made pies to scotch eggs.
Stewart Campbell, an activist for Camra (Campaign For Real Ale) in Hull, said he had no doubt there would be a lot of interest in the pub once word got out that it had closed.
He said: "It is a venue everyone has heard of. It was a real shame to see it close.
"It is a good time to open just before Christmas.
"Lee has had a number of pubs in the area. He will also be selling real ale, which is always a bonus."