Almond Family Pubs, are preparing for a bittersweet reopening of three of the group’s Stockport pubs.
Until the start of the pandemic, the family operated six pubs in Stockport, having grown their business from their first site, the Fletcher’s Arms.
In December the Almond family announced the surrender of two of their beloved pubs due to the effects of Covid-19: The Hesketh, Cheadle Hulme and Three Bears, Hazel Grove. For Doug Almond and his business partners, daughter Vicki and son James, the loss was a blow. Vicki Almond said,
Losing these pubs was like losing part of our family and to be planning to reopen without these is upsetting to say the least. They are more than businesses to us
“Pubs play major roles in communities and we regret that we will no longer be part of these. Thankfully, both pubs have found good new tenants and have transferred last week. This is excellent news for our teams as they will be taken on by the new tenants, preventing any redundancies, which all parties have co-operated to ensure. We fondly thank all our staff for your great work with us, some of you for over a decade, we wish you all well. We’re also pleased the communities around these pubs, with whom we have built strong relationships over the years, will continue to benefit from a local pub. We thank all our customers over the combined thirty years we have successfully ran these two pubs. Thank you for your support in both spirit and business. We have many happy memories and friendships to treasure but will miss the people most. Of course, we will continue to serve our loyal customers at our other local four pubs so please don’t be strangers – come and see us soon.
“When we broke the news that we were handing in the leases at these pubs we were overwhelmed with support and well-wishes, we can’t thank our customers and staff enough for this. Downsizing was never part of our plan, but we are determined that we will come back better than ever after this set back, but we need the support of our customers.”
Almond Family Pubs are due to open three of their four pubs on 12th April outside, in line with government guidance. The Jolly Sailor, Puss in Boots and Fletchers Arms all enjoy extensive and well looked after beer gardens, meaning a Spring opening is not only possible but an exciting prospect. The Spread Eagle will open in May.
James Almond explained how the family run group will keep its patrons safe once its pubs reopen:
We’ve been working hard to make sure we’re set up for opening safely outside. We’ve extended our gardens at the Fletchers Arms and Puss in Boots to give more space for our guests as well as ensuring our covered areas are functional and Covid safe. Our popular stretch tents will be opened up to allow good air-flow, as recommended. Our order-at-table app is further improved to facilitate drink and food ordering and our hosts can’t wait to welcome you all back. We expect a busy reopening but of course we are concerned about the future, we have been closed for the best part of a year and customer attitudes may change. We just hope that the public realise that without their support long term we and every other hospitality business will struggle to survive post Covid. We have all missed pubs, for our own reasons, personally I can’t wait to enjoy a draught pint with friends and feel the unique atmosphere of our pubs.”
Image: L-R: James, Vicki and Doug Almond, outside the Jolly Sailor pub on Bramhall Lane in Davenport, Stockport.