Grantham’s iconic Catlins restaurant gets a makeover – and a new name

Changes ahead: Owner Amy Mcnamara is keen to move with the times by opening a wine bar.
Changes ahead: Owner Amy Mcnamara is keen to move with the times by opening a wine bar.
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Grantham’s famous Catlins restaurant is undergoing a transformation.

From tomorrow (Saturday), the Grade II listed building, located on the High Street, will be known as Tudors Restaurant and Wine Bar.

Under construction: The refurbishment is underway ready for the launch party tomorrow (Saturday)

Under construction: The refurbishment is underway ready for the launch party tomorrow (Saturday)

Since taking over the lease on the iconic building three years ago, owner Amy Mcnamara has been keen to modernise it, but wants to reassure her loyal customers that it is not all change.

She said: “We will still be selling coffee and cake downstairs with the option to take away, just as we do now, and we will continue to sell a wide range of home cooked food from our restaurant upstairs.”

With its ideal location and good reputation, Amy is excited about its potential adding: “There are not a lot of places in town that you can go and have a quiet drink and chat without having to shout over loud music or in a disco environment. The wine bar will only have four tables at the front to start with so customers can really enjoy the intimate
setting.”

The building has been named Catlins since it was bought by Harry and Sheila Hallam in 1962. Amy added: “Although it was a big decision to change the name, we’ve made sure the new name is still in keeping with the tone of the building.”

Staff have been working hard to get it ready in time for a launch party tomorrow evening. Amy added: “We’ve invited all of our regular customers but anyone is welcome to come along.”

The building was erected in 1560 and used by Charles Hamilton , a captain in Oliver Cromwell’s army during the civil war. His halberd – a weapon combining a spear and an axe – was discovered hidden behind panelling in 1890.

In 1740, the building was the birthplace of the world-famous Grantham Gingerbread. According to folklore, baker William Egglestone chanced upon the recipe by mistake when he accidentally mistook one ingredient for another. The result was a delicate white biscuit which soon became a bestseller.

In 1962, Harry and Sheila Hallam bought the building, which by then was called Catlins. The business remained in the ownership of Sheila after Harry’s death in 1989 and Adrian Moore became involved when he married Sheila in 1993. Adrian, who spent his career as an estate agent in Grantham, found tenants to take on the property in 1998 and the Catlins name continued.

The wine bar will be open Thursday to Saturday from 5pm to 11pm.

For more information, call Catlins on 01476 566055.