Belfast Telegraph

Finn MacCool's coaching house in Bushmills up for sale

By Rachel Martin

An historic pub once leased by Old Bushmills' first head distiller has hit the market. Finn MacCool's Public Inn and Guest House is Bushmills' oldest coaching house. Thought to date back as far as the 1600s, it's hoped it will fetch £395,000.

Known throughout its many decades as both the Commercial Hotel and Reid's Hotel, the family business is close to Northern Ireland's top tourist attractions and comes complete with a mural of the giant Finn MacCool.

It's thought the building once had a large coaching yard and blacksmiths based to the rear.

Many decades ago the pub was also used as a mail centre for the area with locals stopping by the pub to pick up their letters.

The building's current owners, the McFarlane family, added its five guest rooms around five years ago, but have retained the bar's rustic charm.

Mrs McFarlane said: "My husband came up with the name when we took over the pub 16 years ago and we all laughed at it at the time, but it has really helped to encourage tourists to call in - we get a lot of visitors stopping to get pictures in front of the mural and coming in for a quick pint."

The couple have decided to move on as they plan to embark on another business venture. Currently, the annual occupancy rate of the rooms sits at around 70%.

Estate agent Brian Patterson said the pub had the potential to become a much larger business.

And he said the property already had planning permission granted to bring the total number of bedrooms up to around 20.

The 10,000 sq ft of extra space will be based across three storeys and will include a restaurant, bedrooms and a total of 20 self-contained apartments.

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