AN EMPTY bar in Alloa has been given a new lease of life following a renovation process that lasted nearly a year.

McGregors opened up at the former Primrose Bar around a month ago, looking to bring something unique to the town.

Proprietors Donna and Gary McGregor spent nearly a full year renovating the property, including the removal of some internal walls with structural engineers on hand.

The bar actually opened briefly before the coronavirus lockdown disrupted everyday life, having to close again after just a few short days.

Donna told the Advertiser: "We spent 11 months renovating it – totally renovating it – taking down walls, having structural engineers.

"It was a long process it took us to get to a point where we are and then, we didn't even think for a minute that we'd have to shut down [due to the pandemic].

"We opened on a Wednesday and by the Friday that was the lockdown."

However, Gary, who owned the Treetops bar in the 1980s as well as the Claremont Lodge Hotel, and wife Donna are delighted to be welcoming patrons once again, currently operating on reduced hours.

The couple are hoping to cater for people over the age of 25 in the town as they felt there was a gap in the market with a demand for "decent pub in Alloa for our age group with something going on".

Donna explained she knew many who would take the train to Glasgow on a Saturday afternoon and visit pubs with live music and the duo decided to bring that experience back to Alloa.

Live music will play a key role, though pubs are currently not allowed to host any acts due to virus restrictions.

Indeed, even the TV has to be muted to make sure customers do not need to raise their voice – all in a bid to reduce the spread of Covid-19.

However, Donna is hopeful that "with a bit of luck" live music could start up on Saturday afternoons at the pub this month, restrictions permitting.

Speaking about the renovation effort at the Primrose Street premises, she added: "It's a massive difference in the pub compared to what it was, it looks nothing like the old pub at all.

"It was closed down for three years so it needed absolutely gutted from top to bottom."

McGregors is currently open between Thursday and Sunday each week.