Hospitality Day 2021: Weston micropub thriving once again following reopening

The Black Cat micro pub holding a post lockdown soft re-opening, co-directors Nick Smith and Claire

The soft reopening of The Black Cat Micropub. Co-directors Nick Smith and Claire Howe pictured with their invited guests. - Credit: Mark Atherton

Staff at a Weston micropub, which recently reopened following a renovation, are pleased to be pulling pints once again.

Weston's Black Cat micropub reopened its doors at the end of August following a revamp, and bosses are hoping to breathe new life into the town’s High Street. 

Like many pubs, The Black Cat Micropub has faced a challenging 18 months, due to lockdowns and restrictions throughout the pandemic. 

But landlord Nick Smith and landlady Claire Howe are determined to make the pub a success – making changes to the venue’s layout to add more seating, and bringing in new product ranges. 

Claire told the Mercury: "We had to adapt and change the focus of trade, so we checked with the council's licensing department and were the first in Weston to do beer and cider deliveries; our customers were supporting us, and were supporting them travelling the length and breadth of Weston to deliver to customers old and new, whilst ensuring all Covid safety measures were adhered to.

"Obviously during this time many people were self-isolating and afraid to venture out to the supermarkets, Nick was dropping off at each customer and had the chance for a quick socially distanced chat about the day-to-day goings-on, which I feel gave a lift to our customers.

"We were given the chance to reopen for a few days at Christmas 2020, and supply food with seated customers, but as we are a micropub which was converted from a shop in 2018, we don't have a kitchen, so we worked with a nearby vendor to help us out.

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"The thing is you can't just be open then shut for months then reopen for a few days and expect to trade well, it's been very tough."

Saturday marks National Hospitality Day, the UK-wide initiative urges customers to leave no business behind this autumn. 

Pub staff have received plenty of positive feedback and comments on social media about the revamped bar layout. 

Claire added: "Before lockdown we steadily built up trade and thanks to Nick's knowledge of real and craft ale, have been in the Good Beer Guide every year we have been open, so hopefully we can get back to doing what we are good at, and maintain a pub that's cosy and just a little different."

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