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Red Lion in Thorncliffe has been reopened

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: June 29, 2014

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A village pub has been re-opened after nearly three years of closure.

The Red Lion in Thorncliffe, near Leek, was re-opened on June 6 by Nick Clowes and Lucy Johnston.

The couple, who are now living at the venue after moving from Leek, say they used to frequent The Red Lion when it was open before and decided to take on the challenge of reopening the closed pub to save it from possible property development.

Nick and Lucy, who have three children between them, are aiming to bring the pub back to it's former 'family-run' glory.

Lucy, who gave up her job at the NHS to run The Red Lion with her partner, said: "We saw a lot of potential in the pub, as it was always very successful and is seeped in history being one of the last remaining true country pubs."

Nick, who used to work on overhead power lines, added: "We would not try this with any other pub, it has the charm and atmosphere of a good family pub. We think that The Red Lion has got all the ingredients to be successful including a great location.

"It's in the country but is only five minutes from Leek."

The Red Lion has received an extensive renovation and now has a disabled toilet and baby changing room to endorse that the venue is a family friendly pub.

Open on Tuesdays to Saturdays from 6pm until close, and then midday until close on Sundays, Nick and Lucy have employed 20 people to help run the venue and were delighted to entice back the former Red Lion head chef, Mark Sandell and sous chef Richard Gould, who along with kitchen apprentice James Warman, will be bringing back a lot of the old favourites of The Red Lion including Steak Nights and the popular dessert, 'Thorncliffe Surprise'.

Lucy added: "The beer garden has been transformed and it is a lovely all day sun-trap so it makes a pleasant, eating and drinking area. It has a seating area that comfortably sits 30.

"Outside is ideal and safe for children as it is secluded and sheltered.

"The garden has been lovingly named Cyndy's Beer Garden after my mum who has put together all the lovely flowering beds and baskets and created an enjoyable space in her own time.

"A big thank-you to all our friends and family who helped make it all possible, working into the early hours as the opening night approached.

"We have been trading for two weeks now and have had lots of positive feedback and feel welcomed by the local community."

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