A NEWLY refurbished beer garden and outside bar has been destroyed by a suspected arson attack in the early hours.

The family-run Cabinet bar and restaurant is one of the venues that has breathed new life into Atherton's high street since its launch in late 2018.

With a diverse offering of food, cocktails, and live music, the Cabinet's owners were looking forward to utilising their outdoor space with the current spell of hot weather, until a fire started in an exterior skip devastated the entire area.

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Leigh Journal: The Cabinet's newly-refurbished outdoor bar areaThe Cabinet's newly-refurbished outdoor bar area (Image: The Cabinet)

Patrick McLoughlin, one of the bar owners, said the police are treating the incident as arson as a man has been caught lighting the fire on CCTV, before making off on a bicycle down Church Street, Tellers Close, and Thomas Street.

Patrick said: "Our CCTV shows a man messing around in the beer garden and skip for about an hour, and persistently trying to light a fire.

"Eventually, he does and the fire caught from the skip to the fencing and bar area.

"We've not really had the best summer so we were hoping to use the bar with the sunny weather, and people had started to book tables for our outside tipi space at Christmas, but we aren't sure if we'll be able to replace this now."

Leigh Journal: The fire was started from a skip at around 2.30amThe fire was started from a skip at around 2.30am (Image: The Cabinet)

While the blaze devastated the Cabinet's outdoor bar area, it has thankfully not affected the main building.

This means that although the beer garden will be closed until further notice, the Cabinet's inside bar, restaurant, and popular bottomless brunches will remain open for business.

Work is still ongoing for the bar's interactive board and games room, which is planned to open before Christmas.

Leigh Journal: The fire has ruined the outdoor barThe fire has ruined the outdoor bar (Image: The Cabinet)

A spokesperson from Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) said: “Just after 02.45am on Wednesday, September 6, three fire engines from Atherton, Hindley, and Leigh attended an incident on Tellers Close, Atherton.

"The fire involved a skip, fencing, and the roof of an exterior beer garden.

"Two firefighters wearing breathing apparatus used two hose reels and other specialist equipment to extinguish the fire.

"Crews were in attendance for approximately two hours fifty minutes.”

Following enquiries, Greater Manchester Police are said to be looking for CCTV, dashcam, or doorbell footage around Church Street, Tellers Close, and Thomas Street around the time of the fire.