All change for Wigan bar in railway arches during lockdown

Originally an Orwell-themed drinking venue, 1984 beneath Wigan North Western has been undergoing a major refurbishment.

Friday, 17th July 2020, 10:09 am
Adrian Heaton and Michael Brennan outside their bar 1984

The place is also in new hands after Adrian Heaton, who runs a construction company, bought out Sam Taylor, one of the business’ two founders.

Much of the dystopian decor and theming has now gone, with Adrian saying his vision is to create a smart and contemporary but affordable venue serving cocktails, wines, beers and spirits and also showing live sport.

Springfield businessman Adrian, 39, said: “I’ve moved away from the George Orwell theme and have focused on making it comfortable and inviting. I’ve sprayed the ceiling black too to give it a warmer feel.

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The interior of the new-look venue

“A lot of people didn’t know we were there. There’s still a little bit more work to do but I’ve put some lighting up at the front so that from the bridge you can see there’s something there.”

Adrian, who part-owns the Warrington-based building firm Urban Group, is now in charge at 1984 along with Michael Brennan, who came up with the original idea for the venue.

The new-look bar reopened on July 4, the first date the hospitality sector could bring customers back through the doors, and did what Adrian describes as “steady” business.

The bar is one of a number of eating and drinking venues in the arches along with award-winning micropub Wigan Central, wine bar and cafe Hideout and tapas eatery Plata.

Adrian hopes the businesses can join forces to promote that part of Wigan as a destination to head out for the evening,

He said: “I really want to promote this area. King Street is dropping off a bit and with the Wigan Pier development coming this is going to become a bit of a focal point.

“I want to work with the other bars and restaurants on this row. We all offer something different: Central with its real ales, Hideout with it’s relaxed wine bar feel, and then the tapas place.

“People could come for something to eat and then head next door and turn it into a night out, rather than walking into town with all the hustle and bustle.”

Adrian says 1984 will also be offering live entertainment.

He is also determined the business will do its bit for the community, starting by donating a percentage of the drinks sales to the Wigan Athletic Supporters’ Club as the football team goes through administration.