Walkabout reopens in Blackpool after £3m rebuild

Picture shows the Walkabout Bar in Blackpool which has reopened after a £3 million development following a fire that destroyed the venue earlier this year.Picture by Paul Curriewww.paulcurriephotos.com07796146931The Walkabout bar in Blackpool city centre has re-opened after the venue was badly damaged in a fire earlier this year.

The £3million redevelopment sees the addition of more bars and an outdoor balcony overlooking the town, all with the feel of an “upmarket Australian city bar”. Operator Intertain has also introduced a new menu.

Up to 70 firefighters tackled the blaze at the Queen Street venue in June which devastated the building. It included living accommodation for staff who all escaped safely.

Last week’s re-opening sees the original Walkabout team reunited with the return of 18 members of staff who, after the fire, worked in other Blackpool bars or at other Walkabouts across the UK. The redevelopment has also created 43 new roles.

The ground floor has become home to Reef Bar where linked screens project undersea footage, creating a Great Barrier Reef-like underwater paradise.

An additional ground-floor bar features a wall filled with authentic Australian beers while concertina windows at the front of the building open onto the street.

The new menu features light bites, main meals, sharing dishes and party platters while a new cocktail menu has been inspired by the character and beauty of Australia including the Sydney cocktail (pictured).

With downstairs having a relaxed ambience and a focus on dining, the first floor has been redesigned to host the venue’s regular club and party nights.

In place of the balcony area which used to overlook the ground floor, a new mezzanine floor houses a large dance floor with state-of-the-art sound and lighting.

The venue has a host of pre-bookable booths and exclusive seating areas for live music events and nights out. Seating can also be reserved in front of the giant plasma screens for live sport.

Intertain chief executive John Leslie said “It’s been a tough few months, but I’m thrilled we’ve been able to reopen the venue as quickly as we have. This is testimony to the hard work and superb spirit of the whole team, of whom we are immensely proud.

“This refurbishment will see Walkabout reclaim its title as Blackpool’s number-one spot for parties, great food and live sport.”

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