Former Wigan Warriors player part of team set to turn popular cafe into 'upmarket' bar and bistro
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Customers were dismayed to discover that Lily and Arthur’s, on Mesnes Road, Swinley, was not reopening in September, after a week’s closure due to staff holidays.
Instead, a post on its Facebook page announced it was the “end of the road” for the venue, which was opened in 2014 by siblings Alex and Matt Fisher.
But after just a few weeks of standing empty, a new team is preparing to sign the lease to take over the property.
Former rugby league player Sean Gleeson, his partner Kate Edwards and business partner Stephen Haselden plan to reopen it as Number 37 bar and bistro.
Miss Edwards, who lives in Shevington with Mr Gleeson and their two children, said: “It’s always been a dream of ours to do something like this, but we thought maybe we would do it when the kids were older. But when this location came up, we couldn’t let it go.”
Since retiring from rugby in 2014 after suffering an eye injury in an incident outside a Wigan nightclub, Mr Gleeson has been working in property while his partner runs the office side of the business.
They are now turning all their attention to their newest venture and are already recruiting staff to work there.
Miss Edwards said: “We are turning it more into a bar and bistro. It’s going to be more focused on evening entertainment and drinking, but we are thinking at the moment that we will do a brunch/lunch menu too. Evenings will be sharing boards and pizzas and at weekends we’ll possibly do breakfasts.
"It will be quite nice and upmarket as a bar and bistro.”
They are going to fully refurbish the property and apply for planning permission to install a veranda, so customers can sit outside.
It is hoped the new bar and bistro could be open within weeks.
Miss Edwards said: “We want to be open before Christmas. Whether food will be there straight away, I don’t know, because it depends on getting chefs in place, but we could just open for drinks at first.”