A much-maligned Dunstable eyesore is finally getting a facelift, with work starting on and around the Winston Churchill pub.
The dilapidated Church Street pub, known locally as the ‘Winnie’, will become an Indian restaurant “by the end of November”. Road improvements outside will be completed as part of the Guided Busway roadworks at the end of next month.
The owner of the premises, Kacha Miah, said that behind-the-scenes building work began two months ago on the restaurant, which will cater for as many as 300 diners.
He told the Gazette: “We’re hoping to be open by the end of November. I think it will be one of the best restaurants in Dunstable.”
The news comes almost a year after Mr Miah was issued with a fine by Central Beds Council under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 for not improving the appearance of the unsightly building.
Plans for the as-yet-unnamed restaurant include a glass frontage to the building.
Mr Miah and his family also run a restaurant called Devdas in St Albans.
News of the restaurant provoked a mixed response on the Gazette’s Facebook page.
User Diane Jackson said: “It will be good to see it restored and open again. Can’t wait to try it.”
But Karen Black said: “Why can’t it be a pub again? There’s enough Indians [restaurants] in Dunstable. Make it into something people really want.”
Jo Rainbow said: “It is well overdue – it’s on a main road and for a lot of people coming into our town, it will be the first thing they see.”
Carey Adams said: “Just glad to see the building restored.”
The roadworks are part of plans to upgrade more than 130 bus stops for the Busway.
Though not on the guided section of the Busway, buses will serve other areas in Dunstable and Houghton Regis.
Councillor Nigel Young said: “Outside the Winston Churchill there will be a new, longer shelter and an information display, but we’ll reuse the old shelter at another stop.
“Busway routes A, B and C will pick up passengers at the Winston Churchill before joining the Busway at the Church Street - Duck - bridge junction.” >What do you think? Are you happy to see the building restored? Join the debate on Facebook or tweet @Dunstable_Rick.