THE Big Lock plans to reopen after a makeover costing almost half a million pounds - but not until August.

The canalside pub in Middlewich had hoped to welcome customers at Easter but refurbishment was put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The £480,000 investment project to transform the venue, creating 16 new jobs is about to resume.

Winsford Guardian:

This is how Big Lock family and dog friendly village pub and canalside cafe will look when it re-opens

A spokesman from Priory Inns said: “We are pleased to say that refurbishment work is due to recommence shortly at The Big Lock with a view to the pub reopening in early August.

"Priory Inns is very much looking forward to showing Middlewich residents their fantastic family and dog friendly revamped local and new canalside café in due course.”

Winsford Guardian:

The canalside location of The Big Lock is an ideal place for walkers to stop for coffee and cake or boaters to have dinner

Entertainment was intended to be a key feature when the Big Lock re-opens but plans to have acoustic music and live bands may have to be modified depending on social distancing regulations.

Licensee Neil Sparkes said:“The location of The Big Lock is fantastic. It’s important to us that it meets the needs of the local community whether that’s a place to have coffee and cake while walking the dog on the Middlewich Waterside Trail, somewhere for boaters to have dinner, or a great friendly local at the heart of the community where you can meet friends and family to watch sport, participate in a quiz or have Sunday lunch.

"The canalside location of The Big Lock is an ideal place for walkers to stop for coffee and cake or boaters to have dinner."

New manager Darren Barton said he is looking forward giving Middlewich a great top quality local and café that residents can be proud of.

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The building project is a joint venture between Star Pubs & Bars and new north west based operators, Priory Inns North West.

Winsford Guardian:

Big Lock Licensee Neil Sparkes and Dennis Cleary, Priory Inns north west area manager, look over the £480,000 refurbishment plans

The first floor is being opened up to create a more spacious open plan bar, snug and dining area with new floor to ceiling glazed sliding doors to allow diners to enjoy the pub’s canalside location.

A new rustic timber clad bar and back bar with room for a wide selection of premium spirits and cocktails will be centre stage.

The interior will be decorated in muted olives and creams with upholstered booth style seating in the snug area and an eclectic mix of wooden and upholstered chairs in the bar and dining areas.

The newly named Little Lock Coffee Shop downstairs will feature a wall of floor to ceiling glazed sliding doors to create a brighter indoor space. It will have its own toilets and will be available to hire for private functions.

Outside there will be seating beside the canal and at the front of the pub.

Winsford Guardian:

There will be seating outside beside the canal

New planters with plants, mood lighting and festoon lights will all add to the venue’s ambience in the evening.

The Big Lock will also benefit from an external redecoration with a partial cream render and timber painted in grey.

Top quality freshly cooked pub classics such as fish and fresh cut chunky chips, lamb hot pot and the speciality steak stones will be served as well as Sunday lunch with meat sourced locally.

In addition to a children’s menu, there will also be a dog-friendly menu which will include a special Sunday roast.

Drinks will include premium draught lagers and ciders, an extensive range of 40 gins, wines for all budgets and a selection of cocktails.

The coffee shop will serve teas, coffees, hot chocolates, afternoon tea, snacks and cakes to eat in or take away and ice-creams in the summer.