A hospitality entrepreneur has opened his latest venture, following the £1m transformation of a former retail site.
Ian Dutton, who owns The Pig in Windermere and The Village Inn in Bowness, has launched Brown Sugar, a three-floor bar and restaurant in the heart of Windermere village.
Built in 1877, Brown Sugar started life as an independent chemist and was later bought by Boots, who remained in the building until 1990.
Following a significant refurbishment in 2002, the building re-opened as a three-floor restaurant named The Lighthouse.
In April of this year, Dutton took ownership of the site and commenced with the refurbishment project.
Now the new venue seats more than 80 customers inside, with space for a further 14 on the balcony and 24 on the heated outside terrace.
“It’s taken a gruelling eight months to achieve our vision, but we have accomplished something very special,” says Dutton.
“We had to peel back the layers of this beautiful building and restore it to its former glory. This included replacing all the original windows, sand-blasting the wooden beams and removing all the false ceilings. The structure had to be made safe. We have moved the kitchen from the first floor to the basement, moved the loos from the top to the middle floor and undertaken a complete overhaul in keeping with the history and age of the building.”
Brown Sugar will create local employment for more than 25 people. Dutton also local contractors and tradesmen in transforming Brown Sugar, working with suppliers such as DAV (for the sound-system), Lakes Catering (responsible for Brown Sugar’s £330,000 kitchen), Kendal Carpets, Colin Barnes Joinery and NEC Electrics.
“We love to create something different for our customers and following decades in the industry, know what they want!” he said. “We’ve been delighted with the positive reaction to Brown Sugar so far and look forward to taking our vision forward.”