White Lion Heeley: Historic Sheffield pub famed for live music set to reopen with new landlord after makeover
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The White Lion, on London Road, Heeley, dates back to 1781 and its former landlords include the Sheffield Wednesday legend Billy Marsden. It hosts gigs most nights and has built a reputation as one of Sheffield’s best pubs for live music.
The Grade II-listed building, with its pretty glazed green brick frontage, stained glass windows and cosy snugs, has been undergoing a major renovation following the departure of former landlords Mandy Billings and Jon Terry, who had been running it for nearly a decade and were credited with transforming it into a popular ‘community hub’.
The pub, which is part of Heineken’s Star Pubs & Bars group, has been closed since mid-April while renovation work took place but is due to reopen tomorrow, Monday, June 5. Daniel Price, who also runs the Crown Inn, just up the road, is taking the reins.
Speaking ahead of its reopening, he told The Star: “Most of the work we’ve done the customers won’t even notice because it was important to us to maintain the heritage of the building. It’s been a very sympathetic makeover, just giving it a new lease of life.
“It’s been redone using heritage period colours, with new soft cushioned seating. The biggest change is probably to the toilets, which have been fully refurbished for the first time since the 1980s.
“We’re going to carry on with what Jon and Mandy did, including the live music, and keep adding to it. We’re looking at things like comedy nights and hosting different groups and societies. But we’re keeping the tried and tested format.”
Daniel said the cost of living crisis meant times were hard for pubs but the Crown Inn had managed to ‘buck the trend’ and he was hoping to give the White Lion a ‘bit of a push’.
With the White Lion being such an old building he said it was expensive to heat but thankfully energy rates were starting to fall again after soaring to record levels.
He also paid tribute to Jon and Mandy, saying: “They’ve been brilliant. We’ve been friends since they first came here and we never saw them as competition for the Crown, we always worked together. We’re still in regular contact with them.