12 new jobs as 200-year-old city pub reopens

For years Fiona and Dominic Hornsby ran Thomas Rigby’s and the Fly in Loaf before leaving and acquiring The Bridewell – and now they have added a second pub to their portfolio. Tony McDonough reports

The Denbigh Castle
Fiona and Dominic Hornsby and Ian Forster of the Small Hands Company


Two of Liverpool’s best-known pub landlords have now opened their second pub in Liverpool city centre, creating 12 new jobs.

Married couple Fiona and Dominic Hornsby were, for several years, the landlords of Thomas Rigby’s in Dale Street and the Fly in the Loaf in Hardman Street, respectively. They left and formed a new business, the Small Hands Company, with another partner Ian Forster.

Last year they took over the The Bridewell, in Campbell Square off Duke Street, and have now relaunched the former Jupiter’s bar, in Hackins Hey off Victoria Street and Dale Street, renaming it The Denbigh Castle.

The pub dates back more than 200 years to 1815 when it was opened by licensee William Williams. In the 1970s it was renamed as Walter’s and then subsequently as Jupiter’s.

Small Hands had originally aimed to open The Denbigh Castle in late March but this was thwarted by the coronavirus lockdown. Fiona Hornsby said: “When restrictions were lifted, we knew it was time to get back to it and have spent the last few weeks getting The Denbigh Castle ready.

“We have recreated a traditional pub by enhancing the features in the building where we could and have added some reclaimed artefacts to add more character.

“It will be similar but not identical to sister pub in the group, The Bridewell in that we have a focus on German lager, cask and craft beer and a vegan wine list. We will also have Sky Sports and BT Sport and plan to offer some social events in the future when we have more flexibility with seating. 

“The downstairs bar will be open which helps us with social distancing but again will also be available to hire for events and parties in the future. Ultimately, we’re very proud to have got through this most difficult of times and have also created 12 new jobs in the process.”

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