Priory Inns North West Takes On Third Site With Star Pubs & Bars

Warrington based multiple operator Priory Inns North West has taken on its third site with Star Pubs & Bars, The Big Lock in Middlewich is undertaking a joint £480,000 refurbishment with the pub company.

The investment will see the well-located canal side pub turned into a top-quality modern village pub with standalone café called The Little Lock Coffee Shop that can be hired for private functions.

The Big Lock is Priory Inns North West’s 10th pub and its seventh in Cheshire2, part of the pub company’s strategy to broaden its presence in the North West.

The Big Lock will be closed for six weeks reopening in time for Easter. 16 jobs will be created at the pub and café when they open.

Inside, funds are being spent opening up the first floor to create a more spacious open plan bar, snug and dining area seating 120 with new floor to ceiling glazed sliding doors installed to allow diners to enjoy the pub’s stunning canal-side location and to create an airy indoor-outdoor feel on warmer days.

Downstairs in the café, there will also be a wall of floor to ceiling glazed sliding doors to maximise the pub’s canal side location and to create a brighter indoor space with seating for 40. It will have its own toilets and will be available to hire for private functions.

As with its other pubs, Priory Inns North West will make entertainment a key feature at The Top Lock. Plans include Live Sky & BT Sports, a weekly pub quiz, acoustic music on Fridays and live bands on Saturdays.

Neil Sparkes, director said: “The Big Lock has a fantastic canal-side setting and so lots of passing trade from walkers to boaters. It just needed some TLC to bring it back on track. The area has also had a lot of new houses built recently so is ripe for the pub and coffee shop that we’ll be opening at Easter.”

Andrew Jamieson, Star Pubs & Bars Business Development Manager, said: “We’re delighted that Neil and his team have taken on The Big Lock. Our last project together was The Gardeners, Timperley which Neil and his team have given a new lease of life, trading up 400% since it reopened. With their vision and high levels of service, they’ll transform the fortunes of The Big Lock too.”