Liverpool’s legendary Vernon Arms pub is now officially open again.
The Dale Street watering hole – dubbed the city’s Politburo – is famous for holding Militant Tendency meetings in the 1980s.
But it fell on harder times and had not served ale since closing in 2004.
Merseytravel chairman Cllr Mark Dowd performed the ribbon cutting last night after its new landlord spent £10,000 renovating it inside and out.
Cllr Dowd, who used to drink in the Vernon in its heyday, said with his offices in nearby Hatton Garden, he could become a regular.
The Labour stalwart said: “I used to pop in now and then. This was a great place for the politics of the city.
“I am always delighted when I see a pub opening.”
Landlord Jimmy Monaghan took on the run-down pub earlier this year. It had been used as a squat by down-and-outs and all the metal – including every copper water pipe – was stripped out by thieves.
The renovation was also hit by delays because it was never connected to new mains water pipes due to its derelict state for so long and the fact it is surrounded by empty buildings.
Vernon Street had to be dug up so the connection could be made.
Mr Monaghan had hoped to open in time for Aintree’s Grand National Ladies Day but had to push the date back.
Since he started trading a week and a half ago, he said business has been brisk.
He said: “We have gone through 50 casks in the last 10 days.
“Mark Dowd supported us when we ran the Excelsior and has raised money for charity with us.”
Militant stalwart Derek Hatton, who was deputy leader of Liverpool council in the 1980s, “held court” in the Vernon’s back room.
He said more decisions were taken in the Vernon than inside the council chamber.