Lawyers help couple reopen well-known Wortley pub

Lawyers help couple reopen well-known Wortley pub

11:55 05 March in Member News

A husband and wife team are set to reopen the historic The Wortley Arms pub after help from Wake Smith Solicitors, and keep its current team in employment.

Alan and Wendy McGilveray have become the newest tenants of the well-known Grade II Listed pub and restaurant on Halifax Road, Wortley Village, to be renamed McGilveray’s Wortley Arms.

The duo will reopen the pub, originally built as a coach house in 1753, to regular and new customers in late March following a short refurbishment programme which will include new kitchen floor, revamped toilets, and a phased redecoration scheme throughout.

They will keep the existing 10 staff employed at the pub and bring their former McGilveray’s Restaurant and Bar staff from Fox Valley in Stocksbridge with them.

Laura Saul, director in the commercial property team at Wake Smith negotiated the lease assignment at the pub while associate Tom Haywood from the firm’s corporate team dealt with the business purchase.

Chef Alan McGilveray and wife Wendy previously opened McGilveray’s nearly five years ago, but were on the look out for another opportunity, after they were unable to renegotiate the existing lease there.

He said: “We saw The Wortley Arms’ lease was available. Wendy had previously worked on the site over 17 years ago, installing the new kitchen with Lloyds Catering, whom she still works for.

“We will be keeping a similar style of menu and adding more elaborate selection of wines and cocktails.  We will also bring the 10 staff over and retain the staff from McGilverays at Fox Valley to work at the new venture.”

Laura Saul, director in Wake Smith’s commercial property team said:  “Alan and Wendy have taken on the existing lease of The Wortley Arms. We exchanged contracts and completed the deal on 4 March and they hope to re-open the pub in time for Easter weekend.

“This is a popular venue in the area which has been run for a number of years by the current owners. We enjoyed working closely with Alan and Wendy on this exciting change of ownership and look forward to watching the pub and restaurant reopen under their management.”

Alan added: “We would both like to thank Laura, Tom and the team at Wake Smith Solicitors for their outstanding patience and efficiency in getting this somewhat difficult contract over the line. Without Laura we could not have done this.”

For more information on Wake Smith visit

Kieran Bridges
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