The Poplar Inn was situated at 74 Kent Street, but it was on the corner of Vernon Street and at times its address was given as 82 or 84 Vernon Street.
The first mention of the pub comes in the 1871 Bolton Directory when it was being run by Robert Lyne. But in the census return of that year Robert is said to be an iron turner so it is likely that the pub was being run by his wife, Mary Ann. Both Robert and Mary Ann came from families with connections with the licensed trade. Robert’s father was Peter Lyne, who ran the Rainforth Hotel on nearby School Hill. Mary Ann’s father, Thomas Suttle, had been a brewer. The couple later went on to run the Duke Of Connaught on Mill Street.
The Poplar Inn was taken over Winfield’s Silverwell brewery on Nelson Square in the 1890s. Brewery takeovers ensured the pub’s ownership changed at regular intervals over the years. Wingfield’s sold out to the Manchester Brewery Company in 1899. MBC were bought out by Salford-based Walker and Homfray’s in 1912 and finally Wilson’s took over Walker and Homfray’s in 1949.