Chandlers Bar, on St Mary’s Gate, has been run by Roger Butler since 1999 and early next year, before Roger hands over the keys, the pub will unveil three Airbnb rooms.
The venue used to be a hotel but, Roger explained, had become dilapidated by the time he bought the site. And while there has always been ambitions to restore the site to its former glory it was really the coronavirus lockdown that prompted the idea to become reality.
The Derbyshire Times was invited to take a look round the rooms (one of which was all but finished and the other two which needed a little more work).
Roger said: “It’s been a hotel since 1870, I think, and got completely demolished and rebuilt in 1926 – which is the building we’ve got now – but when we took it over as a hotel it was quite dilapidated and run down. We’ve always wanted to try and doing something about that and bring it back up and now we’ve had the chance to do that.”
The rooms will be complete with lamps handmade from old bottles used by the pub. It is hoped, when complete, that there will be a roof terrace featuring a hot tub.
Speaking about the challenges faced in running a pub over the last 25 years, Roger added: “25 years ago we were a bar that was looking after the 18 to 30 group and, as time has gone on, we seem to have that same group that has kind of come along the journey with us so our clientele has got much older but it’s quite nice as they’ve been coming a long time.
“Chesterfield was a town we came to in 1999 and it was a little bit down and then the town centre has had a massive resurgence. There’s lots of investment been happening. It’s a fantastic little town and we’re really pleased to be here and part of its success.”
Next year the pub will be taken over by, current manager, Louise. Roger said: “She loves Chandlers almost as much as I do and she’s basically been driving the business so it’s right and proper that she has an opportunity to continue doing that.”