'Opportunity of a lifetime' – Brun Lea to be renamed as new landlady lays out exciting plans for Burnley pub

The new landlady of the Brun Lea has revealed what the pub is going to be renamed after laying out her exciting vision for the landmark Burnley building.

Tuesday, 23rd February 2021, 4:39 pm

Jaimie Hopwood, who also runs the Thornton Arms, wants the prominent Manchester Road venue to once again become the heart of town centre nightlife, with a focus on fresh food, quality drinks and live entertainment.

She will be running the former Wetherspoons pub alongside husband Gavin Fernavs, and sister Lauren.

And the family connection will not end there, with the building to be rebranded 'Fitzpatrick's' in honour of Jaimie and Lauren's grandparents Danny (91) and Edi (87).

The Brun Lea building in Manchester Road, Burnley
The Brun Lea building in Manchester Road, Burnley

"They have supported us our entire lives," said Jaimie. "We would not be where we are without them so naming it after them just felt right."

Despite hospitality being one of industries hardest hit by the pandemic, Jaimie said the opportunity to take over the running of such an iconic building was just too good to turn down.

"We spoke with Laurence, who owns the building, last February. We were actually in the middle of a big refurb at the Thornton at the time though, so we decided against taking it on.

"Then one afternoon, in the summer, we were sat in the beer garden talking about it again, and we decided to send Laurence an email to see if it was still available. He came back with an offer, and it was too good to turn down. It's the opportunity of a lifetime."

Jaimie Hopwood, Gavin Fernavs, and Lauren Hopwood

After the Prime Minister's 'roadmap' announcement yesterday, work is under way on transforming the building ahead of a possible mid-May re-opening with Jaimie and her team keen to put their own stamp on premises.

"There's so much scope here. The size of the building, the position, the footfall it gets.

"We've signed the lease for five years. It's a free house so we don't have anybody to answer to.

"We want a general, all round town centre pub, but with a city centre vibe. It's going to be fresh food. We're going to have street food, sharing platters, that sort of thing. There's still going to be the pub classics, and we'll still be doing breakfasts, but this is not going to be a Wetherspoons.

Danny and Edi Fitzpatrick, who the building will be named after

"That's why we have decided to do the refurb and spend some of our own money on it. The building was given a lick of paint, and a new carpet, back in November 2019, when it was taken over. But we want people to know from the get-go that it's different this time round. There's no real character at the minute. We want that 'wow' factor when people come in.

"We're going to have a massive selection of beers, spirits, everything, The staff are going to be getting full training. We'll have live sports, and we're going to be putting live music on as well.

"We want this to be a meeting place; get people back into the town centre early. We're going to trade for the first 12 months, see how things go and take it from there.

"There's so much potential. We're really excited."