Upsteps Blooms Again in Southport
SOUTHPORT, 11TH JUNE 2013;- Popular Birkdale pub, and racehorse Red Rum’s favourite local, is in bloom again after re-opening with new management.
The Upper Aughton Road venue is welcoming punters back after lying empty for almost a year. New manager, Craig Broomhall, is promising a family friendly atmosphere as he puts his exciting plans into place.
The Upsteps was one of Southport’s busiest and most-visited pubs when racehorse trainer Ginger McCain had his stables a few doors away. It even saw the three-times Grand National winner parade right outside its door after one of his many victories.
Said Craig, “I really want to see the Upsteps thrive again. It had got tired before closing and was a shadow of its former self.”
Since he took over four months ago, Craig has seen the pub’s interior redecorated, with certain areas named after notable local characters. One, the Red Rum Room, will have memorabilia and pictures of the famous mount.
Outside, hanging baskets, window boxes and a programme of repair and renew works, using local trades people, have started to brighten up the building.
Commenting on his future plans for the pub, Craig added, “We’ve really put some effort in breathing new life into the ‘Uppy’. We want to involve the local community as much as possible. For instance, we now have brand new picnic benches in the beer garden, supplied by local joiner Rob Howard. As well, we do a fresh hot and cold buffet provided twice a week cooked by Buskers catering company. Their shop is only down the road from us.”
Re-establishing the Upsteps bucks a national trend that has seen thousands of community pubs close over the last decade. This concurs with Craig’s comment that, on returning to the ‘Uppy’, many former regulars have said that they thought the place had shut for good.
Mr Broomhall has over 15 years’ experience running pub businesses, notably in the Midlands. His own view on seeing a pub prosper is simple.
He said, “All any pub needs is some tlc, friendly staff and a nice environment to get it going. After that, by having regular events and offers, it brings new types of punters in, some of whom may never have visited the pub before.”
“We have lined up and are running lots of new things. We’ve got theme nights planned, a live band every Saturday, as well as hosting family fun days once a month too. This means it will be a venue for everyone.”
In a nod to the town’s real ale drinkers, Craig has added two traditional cask ales to the drinks menu and promises to update them regularly.
Further new developments include the pub’s first football team, to play in the local leagues at weekends. And in the newly refurbished beer garden, families may even get to see the pub’s smallest residents, rabbits Apache and Bolt.
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