Derelict Dewsbury pub gets £500,000 makeover into Spinners Fisheries

A derelict pub has been transformed into a fish and chip restaurant and takeaway after a £500,000 investment.

By John Greenwood - Local Democracy Reporter
Wednesday, 2nd December 2020, 2:59 pm
Updated Wednesday, 2nd December 2020, 3:02 pm

Spinners Fisheries opened as a takeaway in the former Spinners Arms in Wakefield Road, Dewsbury, on Tuesday.

The restaurant, which has an alcohol licence, will open later when Covid-19 restrictions allow.

The new outlet represents an expansion for husband-and-wife team Sofia and Simon Render, who also run The Golden Fish in Huddersfield Road, Liversedge.

Sofia and Simon Render are the husband and wife team behind Spinners Fisheries restaurant and takeaway

The couple were looking to expand when they happened to spot the roadside pub as they headed to the M1 at junction 40.

“It’s an exciting time,” said Sofia, 37. “The timing might not be perfect with the pandemic but the support of the local community has been amazing so far so hopefully that’s a good sign.”

Back in June Sofia and Simon, 42, drove past the up-for-sale pub as they headed off to North Yorkshire for the weekend to celebrate their wedding anniversary, their first trip without children Edward, five, and two-year-old Florence.

Sofia recalled: “When we saw the pub, which is on the main road and has a large car park, I turned to Simon and said: ‘That would be an amazing fish shop.’

Spinners Fisheries restaurant and takeaway opens in the former Spinners Arms pub after a £500,000 investment.

“There was a for sale board and Simon started Googling it and we rang the same day and arranged to go and see it.”

Things moved quickly from there and the couple bought the building and negotiated a separate deal with Kirklees Council which owned the car park.

In total the couple have invested £500,000, a sum which Sofia admits “makes my eyes water!”

The pub, recently known as The Cotton Mill, closed in 2018. It has had a chequered history and was also an Indian restaurant at one point.

Sofia said: “The pub had a conservatory on the side but inside it had an odd layout with two big supporting columns. We have spent a lot of money on the structure to create an open plan layout.”

Under project manager Simon, a joiner by trade, the conservatory has now become a brick-built extension and will house the table-service restaurant.

The takeaway will also have an informal eat-in area.

So far the new business has taken on eight full and part-time staff with maybe another four or five when the restaurant is able to open.

Simon took over the Golden Fish from Sofia’s dad Andrew Chambi when he retired two years ago.

Sofia has since quit her job as a commercial director and has joined him, taking on the business side.

The Golden Fish has done well during the pandemic and Sofia said: “During the first lockdown we were very busy as the likes of Greggs and Subway were closed and fish and chips were a treat.

“People were having more takeaways and our regulars came more often and we got new customers as well and many of those new customers have stayed with us.”

The couple are undaunted at launching a new venture in the midst of a pandemic and Sofia added: “I remember speaking to our business bank manager and we were warned that we’d have to budget for fewer tables because of social distancing.

“This was back in June and, perhaps naively, most of the population thought that by the end of the year we’d be back to normal. Remember Boris Johnson saying we’d be back to normal by Christmas?

“I’m still glad we’ve done it even though we can’t open the restaurant yet. The timing will never be perfect, there will always be something, so let’s just go for it.”

Sofia would like to thank the tradesmen for helping transform the premises in just 19 weeks.