The opening of the UK’s biggest sports bar outside of London has been hailed as “great news for Dunstable”.
The Gazette revealed in May that two former restaurants next to the Grove Theatre were being knocked into one to create a new venue for sports fans.
HQ Sports Bar, which has 40 HDTVs, was due to open for the start of the football World Cup, but building work meant it was delayed until Friday.
Councillor Nigel Young, executive member for economic development at Central Beds Council , said: “Being home to the UK’s biggest sports bar outside of London will really put Dunstable on the map and is great news for the town.
“It will really put Dunstable on the map and will draw lots of people in to the the Grove, which is really growing as a cultural centre, as well as to the whole town centre which is now within easy reach thanks to the Busway.
“I’m particularly delighted that the new bar has been fully kitted out by local businesses, is creating 40 local jobs and that Central Bedfordshire College has been involved in training for kitchen staff.
“This is exactly the sort of enterprise that the council wants to encourage.”
The bar’s owner, Robin Head, has lived in Dunstable all his life and the business will be run by his 19-year-old son Jamie, a former Queensbury Academy student, and 23-year-old daughter Alyssia.
As well as its banks of big screen TVs, the bar has pool tables, dartboards, PlayStations and other activities for customers.
With the announcement by BBC Three Counties Radio that the station is taking Unit 4 and the Sports Bar taking Units 5 & 6, which were previously Italian and Chinese restaurants, it means that Grove Park will be fully occupied for the first time since it was developed eight years ago.
Cllr Young added: “These significant investments show growing confidence in Dunstable and a recognition that the growth agenda being promoted by the council including new homes, new jobs and massive infrastructure investments means that people see our area as great place to live and work.
“I really hope that people get behind this ambitious and prestigious venture by a local Dunstable family and I wish them every success.”