Popular hotel to undergo £1.5 million refurbishment


A Cheshire hotel and bar is undergoing a major £1.5 million refurbishment to restore the building to its original glory.

The Lion and Swan, in Congleton, was bought by Pear Hospitality in June 2020, after the previous owner passed away.

Now, the family-run Cheshire business – who own Pecks, in Congleton, and The Wheatsheaf, in Sandbach – are renovating the venue into a high-end establishment.

Plans include an Italian restaurant, lounge bar, music venue and boutique hotel accommodation at the Swan Bank venue.

Andy Pear, aged 57, who runs Pear Hospitality with his son, Jake, said: “We’ve always quite fancied this building and it’s been on our hitlist for a while. We were in negotiations with the owner before he sadly passed away in April due to Covid.

“We will be spending £1,500,000 on a complete reinvention of the property to restore it to its former glory.”



The Lion and Swan in Congleton
The Lion and Swan in Congleton

The Lion and Swan dates back to the 1600s, where it was two separate businesses – The Black Lion Hotel, and The Swan Inn.

It’s believed that the two merged between 1650 and 1750, with builders uncovering parts of history as they complete the work.

Andy added: “It’s such an exciting project and we recently found the central structure of the building is made from Tudor oak shipping timber, which would date back to the 1600s. Other parts of the building were added later.

“Every day it’s wonderful to be on the site and see it evolve with something new cropping up all the time.”

The plans for The Lion and Swan include a high-end Italian restaurant called Ristorante Leone. Digitally rendered images of what the restaurant will look like caused a social media buzz, with over 1,000 excited comments in 24 hours.

Andy added: “Ristorante Leone will be at the back of the building, and then The Lion and Swan lounge bar at the front, which will be upmarket, but a relaxed and casual space.

“We have a basement bar, which was formerly Congleton’s first nightclub in the 70s, which we want to turn into a music venue featuring live music Thursday to Saturday. This will be called Radley and Co, which was spotted on a nameplate in a Victorian photo of the building.”



A digital render of how the Lion and Swan lounge bar will look

Andy and the team are also refurbishing the hotel’s 21 bedrooms into boutique accommodation, which they hope will be able to open in summer.

Andy added: “Congleton is a real hub for hospitality and there are a number of existing and new operators causing a real buzz in the town, and we hope to be a big part of that moving forward.

“We hope the roaring 20s of the 1920s will become the roaring 20s of the 2020s.”





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