A LANDLORD is aiming to turn a once run-down Ellesmere Port pub into a focal point for the community.
John Holmes, who recently took charge of the Horse and Jockey in Dock Street, has transformed the historic premises but is keen to maintain its tradition and turn it into a fun place to drink for people living in Westminster and the nearby apartments.
A builder and plasterer by trade, this is the first pub that John has run but he’s confident of turning round its fortunes and has opted to implement an over-25s policy.
His open mic night on Fridays, which allows budding musicians to come down with their instruments and perform, has already proved popular. Upcoming singers from the Westminster estate have also been performing at the pub.
And in a bid to develop the community theme, John is keen to make the Horse and Jockey the home of the successful Westminster FC.
He said: “I want to keep it original but turn it into a community pub. It was in a terrible state when I took it on but we’ve re-decorated and turned it around.
“We want to provide a good, traditional pub for people in the Westminster area and the apartments.
“It’s all about changing people’s perception of the pub. Customers have been well pleased with the change, they’ve come in and said ‘Wow what a difference!’ which is great.
“A lot of residents have been coming down from the apartments and meeting each other for the first time and getting to know one another. There is a really good, friendly atmosphere here.”
Danny Swannick, who worked at the pub prior to John taking over, said: “I’ve seen a huge difference. Getting six people in used to be busy but we’re getting a lot now and it’s pleasure to work here.”
John has also thrown his weight behind the Ellesmere Port waterfront development plan.
He said: “It’s a fantastic idea for the area.
“Westminster has been neglected for years. It’s time something was done. There is so much potential down here.”
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