A couple who bought a popular pub just days before the coronavirus lockdown was imposed have welcomed back customers.
But days after buying the venue the country went into lockdown and scuppered their plans.
Now the pub, on Lawton Road, has undergone a revamp and reopened on August 2 after being shut for a year.
Dixie, who also owns Quayside Bar, in Northwich, says lockdown was a ‘kick in the teeth’ as his new pub was unable to open and his Northwich bar had to temporarily close.
The 55-year-old said: “We were doing quite well in Northwich and wanted a second pub.
“We knew the previous owners of The Bank Corner and we looked around the area and thought it was very similar to Northwich. We loved it from day one and saw a lot of potential.
“We got the keys for the pub in the week of lockdown and we’ve been beavering away behind the scenes. We’ve been painting, varnishing and installed new flooring, doing whatever had to be done.
“We’ve also got all new furniture, TVs and hi-fi system. Everything in the pub is brand new. It’s very fresh and modern.
“We were planning to open for Easter, but lockdown pushed everything back and because of people being on furlough we didn’t have all of the furniture we needed in time for pubs reopening on July 4.
“But we opened on August 2, exactly a year and a day after we bought The Quayside in Northwich.
“Lockdown was a kick in the teeth because we weren’t expecting to be hit with that. We had a trading pub that we had to shut down and a new pub that we hoped to be ready in a few weeks.
“But it meant we had a lot of time to get things done and now the doors are open and we’re trading.”
Dixie says it was a ‘massive relief’ when The Bank Corner was finally able to open.
The bar sells a selection of spirits, lagers, wines and cask beers from Stone-based Lymestone brewery as well as serving homemade, ‘good value’ meals using meat from a local butcher.
Dixie says the government’s Eat Out To Help Out scheme has helped bring the punters in.
The dad-of-two said: “It was a sigh of relief when we were able to open. It was a massive investment of time and money and it was great to finally welcome the people of Alsager back into The Bank Corner.
“Opening day went well, a lot of people have been curious and excited to see what it looks like. The government’s half price offer has also been a massive help. Those days can be difficult and it has really helped.
“It’s given us a chance to showcase what we can do. We serve fresh, home cooked food and nothing is microwaved.
“The feedback and responses from customers has been good. When starting a new business with a new team it can take time to get them all singing off the same hymn sheet, but we’re working on it every day.
“We’re very confident in what we’re doing and we’ve had lots of support from the people of Alsager.”
Dixie has implemented all the necessary safety measures for his customers and 15 members of staff including social distancing, hand sanitising stations and track and trace.
The Bank Corner’s function room can also hold up to 150 people, and Dixie is keen to hire out its services as soon as it is safe to do so.
He added: “The pub is big enough to have all the tables and chairs one metre plus apart and as soon as you come in the door you are met by a member of the team, wearing a mask or visor, and taken to your table where hand sanitiser is available.
“When restrictions ease the function room will be available for anyone to book for christenings and weddings and can fit up to 150 people.”
The Bank Corner is open seven days a week from 10am to 11pm Monday to Thursday, 10am to 2am on Friday and Saturday and noon to 11pm on Sundays.
Walk-ins are available but Dixie recommends booking a table by calling the pub on 01270 875377.