Ex-DLI concert hall begins new life as hotel cocktail bar
By Nicky Carter - Reporter
TWO years later than planned, a Barnard Castle hotel is to open a new cocktail lounge that was once part of the county’s last DLI Club.
The Cellar Bar, part of the Three Horse Shoes Hotel, in Lower Galgate, will officially open for business tomorrow, Thursday, December 2, following an extensive refurbishment that took about two years to complete.
Owner Steve Green purchased part of the DLI Club, which backed onto the hotel, after it closed in 2018 due to a decline in numbers attending.
Planning permission was granted to create an internal access from the hotel to the former concert hall, which is now a sleek lower ground floor cocktail lounge.
Most of the conversion work, fitting out new toilets, preserving the original concert hall hard wood flooring, was completed prior to the pandemic.
Mr Green said: “It was 98 per cent ready before the lockdown.
“The reason we haven’t opened it in the last five or six months is because we’ve struggled to get staff.
“Finally, we’re covered and we thought we’d give it a go. We didn’t want to do a big launch, more of a soft opening to begin with.”
The Cellar Bar, which will offer a range of cocktails, was given the seal of approval by former DLI Club treasurer Eddie Tinkler, who was invited along to take a sneak preview before the opening.
Mr Tinkler, whose wife Jean was the DLI stewardess for five years, said: “We closed the club with dignity and sold all the stuff off, giving about £2,000 to local charities.
“Everybody who visited the DLI should come and see what a marvellous job Steve and his team have done with it. It is fantastic.”
He presented Mr Green with a memento from the club – the original drum shaped ice bucket, complete with DLI insignia.
“It has sat in my man cave since the DLI closed and I can’t think of anywhere better for it to be,” he added.
The bar will be open four nights of the week, from Thursdays to Sundays, with doors open 5pm until midnight.