Who will take the helm at closed-down Wigan pub The Boathouse?

The Boathouse before its closure
The Boathouse before its closure

Our beer expert Andrew Nowell looks at the future for a once popular but now closed waterside pub and restaurant ...


The search for new faces behind the bar at a popular Wigan waterside restaurant and pub is under way.

Star Pubs is looking for the right person to lease The Boathouse Pub and Kitchen in Appley Bridge.

A large sign has also gone up outside the Mill Lane watering hole and food haunt announcing the search for the right person to take the building on.

In what will undoubtedly be good news for the many Wiganers who trekked to The Boathouse to enjoy the offerings which emerged from the kitchen, Star Pubs says it is keen to maintain the building’s tradition as an eatery.

A spokesperson said: “We are currently looking for a licensee to lease The Boathouse in Appley Bridge.

“It is a wonderful pub in a lovely canalside location, with a reputation for excellent food, and we’re looking for a person who could continue that tradition.

“The ideal candidate would have experience of running a pub and of producing food to a high standard.

“The Boathouse was completely refurbished four years and is in a good condition and ready to walk into. As well as having bar and restaurant areas, it has a pretty terrace garden overlooking the canal.

“It is a great business opportunity. It was a thriving pub under the previous licensees and, in addition to being popular with local residents, it attracts customers from miles around as well as walkers, bikers and boaters using the canal.

“We have had a high level of interest and our aim is to reopen it as soon as we’ve found the right licensee.”

The Boathouse served its final plates of gastropub grub and served its last pints under the management of brothers Jonathan and Grant Ainsworth at the end of September.

The twins took over the former Water’s Edge site in 2014, forming their own company to operate it.

However, they reluctantly and sadly decided to call time on operations in Appley Bridge to concentrate on The Saracens Head, their other site in Halsall.

The news of Star Pubs’ search will come as a boost for many Wigan pub and food lovers who reacted to news of The Boathouse’s closure with sadness.

The whole saga, though, is further proof that it is not just traditional wet-led boozers finding times tough.

As if to underline the point further, it was noticed late last week that The Vale Royal is up for sale.

Once a magnet for families and Wiganers drawn to its cheap carvery, the place next to St John Rigby Sixth Form College has found things tougher going in recent years.

To find out more about The Boathouse ring Star Pubs on 08085 949596.