Little White Horse: Burnley bar Illuminati undergoes full rebrand as owner's nod to the past ushers in new era

The Little White Horse has returned to Burnley.

Some two decades since the name galloped off into the sunset, Illuminati bar owner James Gibb is bringing it back for a second run.

James is wanting to go in a different direction after noticing an increase in evening time trade across the town, and that means a full rebrand for the Hammerton Street bar.

"It was coming up to 10 years of Illuminati being open, and I've seen the town change a lot in that time," said James, who has been running Illuminati for five years. "There seems to be a lot more going on in the early evening early, with venues like Corkhouse, The Loom, Bridge Bier Huis, William's Bar, and more recently Inn on the Wharf. They're all great places, and I feel like the town needs to carry on going in this direction.

"I've been working late nights here for so many years, staying open ‘til 3 and 4am, sometimes later if you've got an event on. It takes a toll on your body staying open that late, and really for me now I want to take a different sort of route.

"Something I've got a lot of passion for is the food side. We're going to be doing small plates, sharing boards – the type of things you'd expect in a wine bar – all in a comfy, relaxed environment. We are going to be opening from lunchtime, trying to pull people into Burnley earlier on, and hopefully be part of a route where people can bounce between venues, while enjoying a few glasses of wine, and some nice nibbles."

The Hammerton Street bar has undergone numerous name changes over the years; from the Little White Horse to Bar Central, then Fluidz, Illuminati, and now back to the Little White Horse – a name that will hold a lot of memories for people in the town.

"Since being at the venue, I've had a lot of people come in and say, 'Oh this used to be called the Little White Horse', and they'd tell me a few stories from back then. I really like the name, and I really like the history that Burnley has. That's why we've put a few old pictures of Burnley up on the wall, to showcase that history, and the culture of our town.

"I am sad to see the Illuminati name go. I started here as a pot wash, but I always wanted to get behind the bar, making cocktails, and work my way up. Then the opportunity came to take on the bar, and that was something that was a great decision at the time. But then six months later Covid came and we had to adapt. We started doing takeaways, takeaway cocktails; we tried everything to keep the business and the brand going. I've tried absolutely everything to keep Illuminati going, and 10 years seems like a good time to change things up and try something different. But obviously I'll never forget what we've achieved as Illuminati over the years."

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