New life for former St George pub
A new fish restaurant and sports bar will soon be open for business in a landmark location in the heart of St George.
Gerald Pascoe, of youth charity Soccer For Friends, has taken out a three-year lease on the former George & Dragon pub on King’s Square, and plans to open the new venture on March 1.
The property has been vacant and for sale for more than four years after the previous bar operator shut down the George & Dragon in 2009 claiming that there was “a lack of traffic” in the Old Town.
But Mr Pascoe, whose charity supports problem teenagers through sports programmes, is confident that, in the long term, there will be “enough business to go around”.
And he urged other entrepreneurs to follow his lead to help bring about a recovery in the east end of the Island.
“Our charity has been working with social issues and with children who have social problems and we’re very cognisant of that fact, so we want the business to be very community orientated — we’re very concerned about giving things back to the community,” Mr Pascoe said.
“We will be catering to a more mature audience — we don’t want people spilling out into the streets making a lot of noise at all hours of the night — we want to be good neighbours and we want to keep it within the framework of keeping a focus on the community.”
Mr Pascoe said he had considered opening a business on the site for several years and eventually hopes to buy the property outright.
“What we hope to do is emulate what is happening at Dockyard. They have maybe 6,000 cruise visitors coming in each week during the summer and I certainly believe that, eventually, there will be enough business to go around.”
“But at the end of the day, if everyone just sit back and complains, we’re not going to get out of the mess that we are currently in.
We’ve been looking at the plans for cruise ships and if we can get a ship into St George’s, what with the golf course possibly opening up again and plans going ahead for a new marina in the town, all these things are part of improving the prospects of the area. I think this is the only way forward — for people to actually start doing things. It’s a slow process but hopefully we are on our way back and this is part of the start of a recovery.”
The news was welcomed by area MP Kenneth Bascome, who praised the Pascoe family for putting their faith in the town.
“This is very good news for the community of St George and I would like to offer my congratulations and best wishes to the Pascoes. I would also like to thank them for showing confidence in the community — I’m overwhelmed,” he said.
“They have taken the initiative and I think they are absolutely right — we can all continue to talk, talk, talk but everyone needs to get up and do things if we’re going to move forward. I believe that they will be successful and I will do whatever is needed to help ensure that they’re successful.”
St George’s Mayor Garth Rothwell said the initiative was “an encouraging sign for the town that Mr Pascoe has leased the building which previously housed the George and Dragon to open a fish restaurant on the Town Square.
“Particularly welcome to the Corporation and the St George’s Preservation Authority is that maintenance work has already started on the building.
“His confidence in and commitment to the old town is just what the town needs.”