A POPULAR Kendal bar and eatery is making preparations for welcoming customers again but may soon be under new ownership.

Masons Yard 24, formerly The Mason’s Arms, reopened in 2016 following a £500,000 refurbishment.

But the directors of Pipers Pubs, which owns the Stramongate bar, have decided to sell up, although coronavirus has delayed their plans.

Tom Queally said he and partner Mary Bradwell, two of four directors, were in their seventies now and were retiring.

“Health wise hasn’t been good for Mary over the last few years so it’s been a combination of things that’s done it,” he said.

Pipers Pubs bought the ‘derelict’ Mason’s Arms for around £175,000 in 2014 before giving it a major facelift, and Mr Queally said the newly-styled bar had ‘done well’ since reopening two years later.

“It was to hit the middle market that we didn’t feel was being catered for,” he said.

“A good place to drink. A high focus on wine, a high focus on cask beers, a high focus on cocktails.

“It’s worked. The business has attracted all age groups.”

Masons Yard 24 is listed for £685,000 online at H&H Land & Estates. The particulars say: “For sale freehold and as a going concern, this stunning, comprehensively-refurbished free house and restaurant includes a courtyard garden and extensive additional accommodation suitable for development.”

Mr Queally said manager Dan Carr would remain in his role when the site was finally sold, but that in the meantime some preparations were being made to reopen after the coronavirus crisis.

However, he said there was a limit to what could be done ‘until we know what the Government’s going to say, until we know what’s going to happen’.

“Nobody knows what’s going to happen around reopening with social distancing,” he said. “Whether it’s going to work.”