Regulars chip in to build Chesterfield pub a beer garden
Pub regulars have chipped in to help a Chesterfield landlord open a beer garden in time for the easing of lockdown restrictions.
The Lockoford Inn, on Lockoford Lane, Tapton, previously did not have a beer garden – but is now on target to have outdoor seating for up to 60 when restrictions lift to allow outdoor hospitality from April 12.
Landlord Colin Whitehurst, who took over the pub with his wife Jane, aged 53, in August 2019, said they were “very grateful” for the support after a tough 12 months, with pubs closed for long periods in a bid to reduce the spread of Covid-19.
The family– son Arran, 26, is the bar manager – moved from Cheshire to take over the inn and realise Mr Whitehurst’s dream of running a pub.
He said they had been planning a beer garden, but the pub company had put investment on hold due to the impact of coronavirus.
The 56-year-old former financial controller, said: “We weren’t expecting anything to happen with lockdown, but then the announcement came that pubs could open in April, but only with table service outside.”
However, the Lockoford “only had a few picnic benches outside by the car park”.
Mr Whitehurst said: “One of my regulars and his son asked if we wanted them to build a pergola and a lot of other people have also gotten involved in major and minor ways."
He said the area had been tidied up and the pergola and furniture built, with more tables and chairs still to be finished.
‘Grateful for all the help’
He said: “We grateful for all the help we’ve received.
“We have been made very welcome. They are not just good customers, we have made lots and lots of new friends.
“I think there’ll be a few free beers when we reopen, or I’ll have to keep them in chip butties.”
Steve Widdowson has been instrumental in building the beer garden.
The Chesterfield-based joiner, of Stephen Widdowson Joinery, said he was roped in by his son Sam, who has run themed food nights at the venue.
The 59-year-old said: “It’s my local. I just wanted to help out, they’re nice people.
“It’s just to get people back into the pub. It’s going to be nice to be out there, to sit outside.”