A HELSTON pub is to be given a new lease of life and be reopened as a rum distillery and eatery.
For more than two years the Seven Stars – or The Fitzsimmons Arms, depending on your generation – has been falling into increasing disrepair and becoming one of Coinagehall Street’s biggest eyesores.
That is all about to change, however, as it has been sold to property developer Craig Little – and he has big plans.
The left hand side of the building as you walk in will house a large rum still, which will age the alcohol to be sold there of an evening.
Craig, who owns Rebuild South West and lives locally, hopes this will become an attraction in its own right, with people wanting to come and see how it is made.
The other side of the pub will serve food, of which the details have yet to be decided, but it will most likely be either a bistro or tapas bar.
Explaining his vision to the Packet, Craig said: “The market we’ll probably go for is young people going out for food and drink, and maybe tourists.
“The whole thing, because of the rum, is going to be very ‘tin mine’ orientated. The rum might possibly even have gorse and honey in it.
“The theme of the pub is going to be very ‘tinny’.”
He said the question of whether to return the name of the building back to The Fitz, or choose something brand new, to reflect its new direction and the tin inspiration had yet to be decided – but one thing for certain was that it would not be the Seven Stars.
In the longer term he has even bigger aspirations, to perhaps develop the upstairs of the pub for community use, and potentially put two mews cottages on land at the back to fund the continued redevelopment of the pub – all of which would be subject to planning and other permissions.
“It’s all very much a case of if everybody works together it will work,” he added.
In the meantime, Craig has already started ripping out the interior, fixing the roof and clearing the pub’s developed vermin problem, with help from his Health High Streets project.
Through this he takes on groups of people looking for work through the JobCentre to take on development projects with his company.
He also works with construction training courses at colleges in the area, to give practical experience.
Craig believes the key to Helston’s success going forward is to make the buildings work more efficiently.
By converting the upstairs areas into flats and renting them out, he said shops would be able to operate virtually rent free as a result.
Craig has already been contacted by two shopkeepers in the town, asking for his support, and hopes others will come forward.
He has calculated that if every empty space above the town’s shops was turned into flats and filled, 110 extra people would be living in the town centre and using its businesses.
“It’s all about renovating homes in the town centre and training people at the same time,” he added.
“We want local people to invest in Helston.”
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