A GOUROCK pub which shut down almost a year ago is set to re-open after being snapped up by a new owner.
Kirsteen Murray, who is from Greenock, has taken over The Albert Hotel and today revealed her plans for it.
She bought the premises in November after they went up for auction with a guide price of around £100,000, and hopes to have the hotel back up and running in time for the summer.
By popular demand, she has decided the public bar will remain, but there will be a greater focus on the accommodation side of the business, with Kirsteen keen to open up the five guest rooms for booking.
The Albert is one of the town’s oldest pubs and has been shut since the
end of April last year, after the previous owners of almost 20 years decided to walk away from the business.
Kirsteen, who now lives in Largs, stepped in after seeing the building locked up and in a sorry state.
She said: “I’m from Greenock originally and left when I was 18 and have lived all over further down the coast, in England and abroad.
“But I’ve always kept an eye on Greenock and Gourock and what’s happening, especially the regeneration of Gourock town centre, which is great.
“I’ve known this building for years and Cardwell Bay is looking super, the town centre is looking super and it will be good to be part of what’s going on.
“I thought I would go for it because I saw it when passing through heading to a conference one day and it was sad to see it lying empty.
“It deserves another life.
“I’m not going to make massive changes, but basically restore it to its former glory and make it sympathetic with what’s going on and the seaside.
“It will be more focused on the accommodation side – Gourock has lost a lot of hotel rooms in recent years.”
There was talk that the popular public bar would close but Kirsteen says there is no chance of that.
She said: “The amount of people who have said it’s really important to open it as a pub, and with the number of people who have said they start a pub crawl at Cardwell Bay or here, I’m listening to what people are saying and what they want.
“It won’t be open until the summer.
“It’s in bad condition right now, it needs a lot of work.”
Kirsteen has held a bar licence in the past but currently works in the health and social care sector. She says that she is excited about the project of revitalising The Albert.
She said: “I understand the trade but I’m very realistic about it as well, it’s a very hard life. It’s a new venture for me.
“It’s back to my roots and it’s coming together.”