A BAR owner has said he is excited for the future after the successful opening of his new venture.

The Knights, in Dalkeith Street, Barrow, re-opened its doors for a family and friends night on Friday before opening to excited punters on Saturday, three years after the last pint was pulled there.

Business owner Veerendrashyam Venkatpuram, from Derby, bought the building in 2019 and set about breathing new life into the former pub with a £250,000 refurbishment.

And customers were ‘really happy’ to return to the establishment which is now a sports bar.

“I didn’t expect it to be so nice,” said Mr Venkatpuram.

“So many people turned up and we had a really good time, even into the evening it was getting filled up.

“And everybody was so happy it was done so nicely and it feels very welcome.”

The extensive refurbishment was a sizable task, according to Mr Venkatpuram, who battled damp, crumbling walls and the added pressures of the pandemic.

But the hard work was worth it with customers welcoming the huge transformation and enjoying six screens of live sport and a DJ for the opening.

“It was not what they expected because on the outside we didn’t do much because we focused on the inside,” said Mr Venkatpuram.

“Before it was really damp and very dark.

“We could see people were really happy dancing and we had a DJ, live music and sport so it is much more than just having drinks there.”

The businessman has moved his software business to Barrow to be based in Dalkeith Street building and has expressed interest in investing in future businesses in the town.

He says he is ‘very confident’ the bar will thrive.

“I was a bit cautious but now I am very confident it will do well,” he said.

The Knights was previously owned by Five (UK) Ltd which went into voluntary liquidation in March 2019.

The company was made up of Barrow directors Jeffrey Athersmith, Graham Edwards, Graham Rushton, Jon Wheeler, and Anthony Hoggan who is based in the North East.

Five (UK) was set up in 2005 and during its operation was the company behind Circus Circus, Bar Five/The Nines, The Knights, and latterly The Derby.