The fire-ravaged Tivoli pub in Cambridge has confirmed plans to reopen after undergoing a full refurbishment.
The City Pub Company said the Chesterton Road watering hole will officially reopen on Tuesday May 17. The building – which started life as a cinema in 1925, before being converted into a pub in the 1950s – sat empty for several years after the devastating fire in 2015.
Since 2019, major work has taken place to rebuild and renovate the iconic building, which had been a JD Wetherspoon pub from 2010 to 2015, although unsurprisingly the process has been delayed by the pandemic.
The new-look pub will have standout features spread over four floors, including two indoor mini-golf courses on the first floor, two 22ft shuffleboard in the basement and a second-floor roof terrace with stunning views on Jesus Green. An upper terrace will be privatized.
Known for its art deco interior, Tivoli marketing manager Alex White confirmed that some of that style will return and also reveals Kirk Nolan’s firm was responsible for the interiors.
“We’ve restored the main entrance to reflect what it might have originally looked like when it was a cinema,” she explained, “so we basically have a very well-built bespoke box office, which is all leaning towards the art deco atmosphere.
“When you walk in, we wanted there to be that ‘Oh my god, it hasn’t changed since it was built.’ look at the modern twist that I guess we give it.
“I would say it’s like an industrial type feel but with soft furnishings too – so it’s not cold and harsh, but the walls in the majority of the space will be left concrete so you can see the story there, which is pretty.
“They discovered very beautiful colors of things from the past which are shown on the walls. The entrance will look more like grand art deco, but the rest is fresh and new. We didn’t want to give the impression that we were just doing a themed pub; we wanted to take it to its next phase – this is the next phase of the Tivoli.
Alex, who runs her own business, We Three Club, with her husband Christopher, notes that the building is “surprisingly large” inside. “We use all floors, especially the basement.
“Each tier has its own kind of brand name. So in the basement it’s called ‘Club Shuffle’. We basically wanted it to be like a basement club that you come across, like it’s been there since years – like some sort of secret shuffleboard club.
“There’s a bar there and two shuffleboard games. They are traditionally made in America; they bring them over from America and they are truly amazing. Then there is a nice little open terrace which sits on the river at the back. It’s right up to the river and overlooks Jesus Green so it’s a nice area.
“Then the golf course is called ‘Electric Greens’ and it’s two nine-hole golf courses, which span the whole floor, and there’s a little golf bar next to it, mainly for kids. people using the golf course It’s a fairly modern golf course, with neon lights – it looks really cool The golf course will have an app so when you walk around you’ll be using the app on your phone to score.
Alex adds: “The ground floor will be called ‘The Assembly Hall’ and it’s more of a classic pub feel – a very long bar. “We have two food concessions – one is our house pizza and the other side we have Steak & Honor burgers.
“It will be their second place at Cambridge. It’s a really cool aspect – having them there will be really cool. To visit thetivoli.co.uk.
Cambridgeshire pub The Three Hills in Bartlow shortlisted for National Pub & Bar of the Year