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Revamped Huddersfield pub reopens with sports & students focus

A Huddersfield pub which has been closed for several months, is set to attract sports fans and students when it reopens today (July 18) following a £95k facelift.

The White Swan - known recently as Chaos Bar and, before that, C1 Bar - has been turned into a community sports pub by Hawthorn Leisure, which owns more than 600 community pubs across England, Scotland and Wales.

Most recently run as a late night venue, the installation of three screens showing Sky Sports and BT Sport will attract sports fans to the town centre venue who want to watch live events with friends while enjoying a drink. Racing UK will also be shown for horse racing followers.”

New manager David O’Donovan, who has moved to The White Swan having trained at Hawthorn Leisure’s Last Orders, in Whitchurch, Shropshire, said, “I was a student at Huddersfield University, so I know the town well and what students want from a pub.

“As well as the screens showing sports, we’re going to introduce games, including giant Jenga and Connect 4, plus board games such as Scrabble and Monopoly. There’ll be live entertainment at weekends, student open mic nights on Wednesdays, plus regular quiz and poker nights. The horse racing channel will appeal to our older, daytime customers.”

O’Donovan, who runs the Kirkgate pub with a team of six, added, “I’ve been given a wonderful opportunity here by Hawthorn Leisure, and there’s a lot of excitement around town about the place reverting to its original name, and people were eager to see the new look.”

The interior has been opened up and redecorated to create a bright, airy space; the toilets have been brought up-to-date; and the pub’s function room is set to be reopened next year. There is a commercial kitchen, but there are no plans yet to offer food, though coffee is served from 10am.

Drinks include a selection of popular draught and bottled beers and lagers, there is a cocktail menu, ciders, and a wide selection of gins.

Hawthorn Leisure's Managing Director of Operations, Mark McGinty said, “David has done a great job at another of our pubs, and we felt he was the perfect fit as manager of The White Swan, particularly with him having been a student in the town – he knows what students want from a pub, and we’ve been only too happy to take up his ideas and suggestions.

“Hawthorn Leisure is always keen to support its energetic, enterprising, enthusiastic managers, and help them run successful and sustainable businesses.”