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Grimsby’s famous Wheatsheaf bar-restaurant to close for major makeover

One of Grimsby’s most popular bar-restaurants will close next week for an extensive refurbishment, which could cost up to £500,000.

The Wheatsheaf, in Bargate, will close on Sunday and is scheduled to reopen on February 15. Love will still be in the air, even though romantic couples will not have Valentine’s Day at the much-loved venue, staff have said.

A complete transformation of the pub is planned, with a brighter, more contemporary look. A refreshed bar, new soft furnishings and an expanded dining space are among the changes.

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The pub has updated its menu to include a wide range of new dishes, including slow-cooked rib of beef, shepherd’s pie, steaks, and roasts available every Sunday. Danielle Smith, the general manager, said: “We will be thrilled to welcome guests, both familiar faces and new friends, to experience our pub’s new look, whilst keeping the cosy feel of the Wheatsheaf, we all know and love.”

Located near to the A16, the Wheatsheaf is a popular place for family and workplace reunions and for regulars to drink and relax after a long day exploring Grimsby’s attractions. The “Sheaf”, as it is often called locally, started on the opposite side of the road, with records dating back more then 250 years.

The entrance to the first pub was made up of a pair of whalebones from the time when Grimsby had a whaling industry. It is believed that a watercolour drawing of the Wheatsheaf, which shows the gateway, is in the public library.

An attempt, in 1938, to convert the pub into a 10-bedroom hotel was thrown out. However, in 1940 the application succeeded and Frederick Slaney, last licensee of the old “Wheat Sheaf”, moved across the road to establish The Wheatsheaf Hotel.

Telegraph archives dating back to May 1940, describe it as a “first-class residential and commercial hotel in which modernity and comfort are among the predominant features”. The old Wheat Sheaf was beyond repair and was demolished in 1947.

The 1980s saw the opening of DiMaggio’s restaurant, which remained until 1990. It served pizza, pasta, fillet steak, veal, chicken, calves liver and sole in a variety of sauces. In 1992, Sheila Dunnett became the first female licensee, before the hotel underwent a £500,000 refit for the Millennium.

The Wheatsheaf offers a fixed-price food menu with three courses available for £11.49 from noon-5pm, Monday-Friday, and £14.49 after 5pm. For more information, or to make a booking at the new-look venue, visit the Wheatsheaf website.

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