A FORMER Kendal pub has been given a new beginning after being taken over by a tapas restaurant two doors down.

The New Inn is to be used for Christmas parties and as an 'overflow' site for Comida until the new year - when the site will be given its own identity.

Simon Perkin, director of Comida, situated in Highgate, said the team at the restaurant was looking at turning The New Inn into a 'casual space' that allowed people to bring their own food in and enjoy a pint or hot drink.

"It will be open from eight-thirty, we are thinking," said Mr Perkin, 41.

"We want to be serving baked goods and coffee.

"It will be cosier during the night and airy during the day, it will be family-friendly.

"We have realised that it could be a good party space."

The pub closed after former landlord Peter Nicholson was stripped of his licence earlier this year over a failure to adhere to Covid regulations.

"We looked at it and thought it could be a better place," said Mr Perkin.

"It's a good location, it's a shame about the reputation.

"The opportunity came up - we are at full capacity next door [in Comida], especially with Covid."

Around £30,000 has been spent giving the site a facelift ahead of it opening to the public next week, with meals to be transported across from Comida round the back of the buildings.

It is at first operating only as an overspill space for Comida to allow time for more work to be done on the bar.

Mr Perkin, of Burton-in-Kendal, said he was 'very excited' and 'can't wait' to get started.

"I think this space needed refreshing, for the high street," he said.

Rooms at The New Inn, which is retaining its original name for the time being, will be available for booking next year.

The date on which the site will first welcome diners is not set in stone, but it is scheduled to be open by Thursday next week.