The Marsh Harrier pub in Marshside in Southport is now open

The brand new Marsh Harrier pub in Southport is now open. 

The pub, on Fylde Road in Marshside, is operating on the site of the former Shrimper pub following a £170,000 transformation. 

Members of RSPB Southport cut the ribbon at the official opening ceremony. 

The new facility sees business partners Bob Roberts and Tom Rooney, who both started their hospitality careers in Southport, take on the pub.

Tom started his career by pouring his first pint at the Shrimper at the age of just 17.

The Shrimper has been renamed The Marsh Harrier in reference to Marshside as well as the local RSPB nature reserve and the Marsh Harriers often found there.

Bob is serving as landlord and host, while Tom offers business support as a hospitality consultant.

The venture has created 12 new jobs for the area.

The pub has been renovated with new wood cladding, paintwork and signage outside, and the creation of a 108-seater-alfresco area with a heated covered pergola.

The internal refurbishment has also been upgraded, and there is a new food offering alongside a wide selection of wines, spirits and beers.

Bob said: “Residents have been crying out for a nice local and have been concerned for the pub’s future since it closed. Tom and I both have family in the area and we have been looking to return to our roots and find a pub nearby.

“Marshside is a friendly place with a good community spirit, and we feel fortunate to have found a pub with so much potential here. The Marsh Harrier will have something for everyone. I can’t wait to open the doors and show people their new-look pub.”

The six figure revamp has been carried out by Heineken-owned Star Pubs & Bars. 

Bob Roberts said: “The pub is unrecognisable and should really enhance the centre of Marshside.”

Star Pubs & Bars’ area manager Phil McWilliam said: “We want to make The Marsh Harrier an asset to Marshside, and are delighted to be joining forces with Bob and Tom to bring the pub back to life. 

“They’re highly experienced hospitality operators, know Marshside well and are passionate about creating a superb local. The investment will give The Marsh Harrier really broad appeal, and should attract people from Banks, Churchtown and across Southport.”

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