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Campaigning for good beer in good pubs in north Lancashire and the Ingleborough area

CAMRA Lunesdale

New Dawn for Morecambe?

Sarah Gwyn-Jones, the manager of the Palatine

Lancaster Brewery have opened their latest pub (Monday 8 December) &mdash in Morecambe. The pub, the Palatine, is well enough known to Morecambe drinkers, but the interior has been completely altered by the Herculean efforts of the team of builders. It will, however, look familiar enough to anyone who knows the Sun in Lancaster, notably the excellent choice of drinks at the bar and most especially the eight cask ales (four from Lancaster). Minor points of difference include one wall of bare brick (the building being Edwardian rather than Georgian) and the provision of Draught Guinness. An upstairs room has been opened to the public and this is rather different. There is a carpet on the floor and many of the fittings &mdash leaded lights, shelving, fireplace &mdash appear to be original.

Phil Simpson, a director of the company, said: “It’s taken Matt and I over four years to find the right venue in Morecambe and once we pinpointed the Palatine we’ve cut no corners in delivering a really lovely bar. Thus far, we’ve invested over £400,000 and everything from the roof to the cellar has been updated. People will be amazed at the difference, it’s virtually unrecognisable from the previous incarnation. Customers will be welcome to sit in the lounge enjoying a glass of wine or well kept beer whilst gazing out over a fantastic view of Morecambe Bay.”

Carl Johannessen, Project Manager, said: “We’ve had over 20 skilled tradespeople working 12-18 hour days, 7 days a week in order to get the bar open before Christmas. We could have given the BBC’s “Changing Rooms” crew a run for their money!”

The acquisition of the Water Witch by the same company in 2000 was the trigger for the massive improvement in the Lancaster ale scene over the past few years. Will the Palatine have the same effect in Morecambe? Or will Morecambe drinkers simply go somewhere with lower prices?