The original pub on the site was the Wellington Hotel which was built in 1842 and was tied to the Dawber brewery. The original building was demolished in 1932 and a new pub built in its place by Brewery Mowbray & Co of Grantham.
The Duke was a thriving pub, with pool and darts teams, plus live music and functions in the upstairs room. The pub also had a bar billiards table in its snug which was popular with locals, who often arrived early to stake their claim on the table.
In recent times, the upstairs function room became a well-known music venue, ‘The Bivouac club’, where the likes of Pulp, The Killers, Kaiser Chiefs and Biffy Clyro all honed their craft on the way to stardom along with numerous local bands.
Kaiser Chiefs bassist Simon Rix recalls: “The first ever gig we did outside of Leeds was in Lincoln at the Bivouac and two people were there and one fell asleep.”
The Bivouac Club even hosted 1980s heavy metal group Saxon in 2006 for a TV documentary about the band going back to its roots to find fresh success.
The pub closed its doors in 2013 and laid empty until Optima aquired it in late 2018.
Many of the building’s original features have been retained within the design studio offices, including the bar areas. The main bar has been converted to a quirky reception desk and the upstairs bar forms a small drinks prep area for the design staff who occupy the former function room, which has now become an airy creative studio.
We’ll be revealing more about the history of the Duke and how it has been transformed very soon. If you have any memories of the Duke of Wellington pub or Bivouac Club, please get in touch, we’d love to hear them!
The new office address is Optima Design, The Duke of Wellington, 37 Broadgate, Lincoln LN2 5AE