THE Big Lock has reopened today following a £480,000 revamp.

Middlewich residents can finally look inside the new look canalside pub which has been closed since February.

Winsford Guardian:

The pub has been completely transformed

The pub’s six week makeover ended up being a six month project as the pandemic halted refurbishment work.

Inside, the pub has been completely transformed to create a spacious open plan bar, snug and dining area on the first floor. Floor to ceiling glazed sliding doors allow diners to enjoy the pub’s waterside location.

Winsford Guardian:

Plenty of nooks and crannies to enjoy a drink

Licensee Neil Sparkes said: “The reopening of The Big Lock has been a long time coming but well worth the wait. Early indications are that is going to be a popular place.

Winsford Guardian:

Big glass patio doors give allow customers to enjoy the canalside location

“Customers are delighted by the stunning transformation, by the fantastic space that has been created and canal side location. It has been a joy to open the doors and provide a relaxing and safe environment for customers to socialise in.”

Winsford Guardian:

The pub now has a modern feel

For now, plans for a pub quiz, live music and sports, are on hold. However, they will be serving a great choice of pub classics, a children's menu and a traditional Sunday roast and offering a wide selection of premium drinks.

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Winsford Guardian:

There is plenty of space to eat outside

With safety in mind, Priory Inns North West has reduced seating inside by 65 per cent, with space for 60 at well distanced tables. When life returns to normal this will be increased to 120.

Winsford Guardian:

New flooring, fittings and furniture create a fresh, clean ambience

Outside, there is further socially distanced seating for 80, half beside the canal and the other half at the front of the pub where a canopy provides all-weather shelter for alfresco eating and dining.

New planters, mood lighting and festoon lights all add to the evening ambience.

Extra safety measures put in place include multiple hand sanitisers, table service and payment by app.

Winsford Guardian:

Staff members Jack Bellis, general manager Rick Brown and Charlotte Smith raise a glass to toast the launch of the new look Big Lock

Booking is advisable though not compulsory and there is a socially distanced waiting area at the entrance.

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

Andrew Jamieson, Star Pubs & Bars business development manager said: “We were close to reopening when lockdown occurred.

“The last stage of the building work took much longer because of health and safety measures we had to implement for the builders. However, that is all behind us.

“The pub is now a fantastic dog friendly village pub, and with more people eating and drinking locally I anticipate it will be a great success.

“I wish Neil and his team well during what is a challenging time and a great summer ahead.”