THE owners of Tyldesley's newest whiskey and wine bar had a "gut feeling" that it would be successful.

Located in a historic building in the middle of the high street, it has been an arduous two-year project to convert the Markland building into a trendy whiskey and wine bar, but after almost two months it looks like a gamble that has paid off.

With legend suggesting that Robert Martland paid for the building with his winnings from a Monte Carlo casino in 1882, the gamble is in keeping with the venue's history, and fortunately, customers have flocked to the bar since its launch in mid-December.

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Leigh Journal: Inside The Markland on Elliott StreetInside The Markland on Elliott Street (Image: The Markland)
Although Mr Martland's dream to turn the Elliott Street building into a railway hotel never materialised, the historic venue has housed several businesses and apartments over the years.

The four-story building had fallen into disrepair in recent times, so with the intention of bringing the venue back into use, the landlord stripped back the structure and refurbished the venue in keeping with the conservation area in Tyldesley.

This refurbishment resulted in new apartments being created in the building's upper floors, and after a two-year project, the ground and first floor has been transformed into The Markland's setting as an intimate and stylish high street bar.

Leigh Journal: Inside the upstairs space at the MarklandInside the upstairs space at the Markland (Image: Leigh Journal)
With Tyldesley benefitting from a £1.5m investment to transform the look of several Elliott Street businesses in recent years, the Markland has been designed in a similar vein to these venues while also nodding to the heritage of the building.

As one of the leaders of the conservation project is also a co-owner of the Markland, there is a real desire to build on the scheme's success and attract more custom to the town.

Leigh Journal: The team aim to provide food and live music upstairsThe team aim to provide food and live music upstairs (Image: Leigh Journal)
Speaking about the bar and its reception, co-owner Ian Tomlinson said: "We opened two weeks before Christmas and the feedback so far has been amazing.

"We have had some really busy periods and weekends, and we're noticing people coming from Tyldesley and further afield which is a good sign.

"We see ourselves as a great new addition to the high street where we can complement and bounce off the other venues and bring more people into Tyldesley."

Leigh Journal: The project to transform the Markland was years in the makingThe project to transform the Markland was years in the making (Image: Wigan Council)
With a focus on whiskey and wine to differentiate from other bars on the high street, there is also a selection of beers, IPAs, stouts, and cocktails on offer at the Elliott Street venue.

There are further plans to launch a food and charcuterie menu for special events in the upstairs space, with the first event taking place on Valentine's Day, while intimate live music gigs are also proposed in the coming weeks.

With permission agreed with the council, the Markland will also be able to provide outdoor seating to expand the business in the summer months.

Leigh Journal: A historic snap of the Markland buildingA historic snap of the Markland building (Image: For Tyldesley)
Speaking about the bar's first six weeks in business, co-owner Adrian White added: "I was born fifty yards from the Markland's building and I just had a gut feeling that it was going to be successful.

"The signage and design has that 'wow factor' and people really seem to appreciate what we've done.

"From the minute we opened, it has taken off so we're more than happy with the response we have had so far."

Leigh Journal: The Markland, on Elliott Street in TyldesleyThe Markland, on Elliott Street in Tyldesley (Image: Leigh Journal)