The Hobbit at Norland is reopening

Chris Smith at The New Hobbit
Chris Smith at The New Hobbit

A North Yorkshire entrepreneur has breathed new life into one of Calderdale’s best known pubs, The Hobbit at Norland.

Thirty-year-old Chris Smith from Ilkley has spent the past six months renovating the pub which closed last year.

Chris, who has owned wine bars and restaurants in the Cheshire area, will work with a team of 15, which includes four chefs.

The menu will include pub classics like fish and chips and homemade sausage with mash and onion gravy, along with a la carte delights such as seared king scallops.

Chris, who is single, says he was “blown away” by the pub’s potential the first time he saw it. He has friends in the Calderdale area.

The New Hobbit, as it is now called, has a log burning fire in the middle of one room, a wall made up entirely of thick cut logs, and a deli counter. There is also a function room which seats 60.

Chris has done all the interior design himself and had a lot of the furniture especially made. The paints are Farrow & Ball, the carpets are Axminister wool and some of the wallpaper, Vivienne Westwood.

“I wanted the feel of a plush boutique bar/hotel and hope people walk in and think `wow’ ,” says Chris , who starts work on the 18 bedrooms in May. He hopes to specialise in weddings – he has already got several booked this summer – and has big plans for the bridal suite. “It will have a separate living room and dressing room and a free standing roll top bath looking out onto stunning views across the valley.”

The pub, which has a 2am licence and opens tomorrow evening, (Saturday March 9) will have live music and comedy nights and other special events. Chris wants customers to have an enjoyable experience at the pub and believes a visit to one should be like theatre – entertaining and service always with a smile.