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Merseyside village pub reopens today after £700k refurb

It’s a double celebration for one Merseyside village pub, which opens today for the first time in nine months, showcasing a stunning £700k revamp, with 20 new jobs created.

The only pub in Hightown, The Hightown Hotel was due to open in mid-March following refurbishment by Heineken-owned Star Pubs & Bars and new licensees, the McLoughlin family – dad and mum Patrick and Claire and their son and daughter Thomas and Lauren. Instead, with work delayed by lockdown, the McLoughlins have had to wait a further five months before revealing the changes to the village.

The investment has transformed The Hightown Hotel inside and out and restored the previously tired local into a great quality traditional pub serving outstanding food. The work has retained all the character of the 1800s pub and renovated original features such as wooden floors, sash windows and open fires whilst making the pub more stylish and contemporary.

With social distancing now required, the McLoughlins are delighted with The Hightown’s spaciousness. The pub still comfortably accommodates 150 inside and the project has created an alfresco eating and drinking area with seating for a further 110 in the pub’s large garden.

As well as a new deck, the garden now boasts heating, lighting and big umbrellas for year-round use, smart furniture and a covered pergola complete with speakers. The McLoughlins have also put a host of safety measures in place to keep people safe. Customers will be greeted at the door and shown to their tables, which will be sanitised between every use.

Other changes include new toilets, a new kitchen and screens for watching Sky and BT Sports. In addition, the building is now wheel chair accessible and has bike racks and two electric car-charging points.

Alongside The Hightown’s new look, is a new menu of freshly prepared dishes. The pub will serve food all day and cater for all occasions from breakfast and coffee for station users to light lunches and special occasion dinners.

To reflect the McLoughlin’s Irish roots and bring something different to Merseyside, there are dishes with an Irish twist such as an Irish stew and deserts flavoured with poitin. On the drinks’ front, the range spans barista coffee, premium lagers and beers and a superb selection of wines and spirits including poitin from Patrick’s distillery in Ireland and a whisky wall featuring the UK’s 50 most popular whiskies.

Customers four legged friends have not been forgotten either. Dogs will receive a warm welcome with water and treats and, in due course, will have their own area of the garden.

The McLoughlins still have many more plans for The Hightown Hotel. A first floor function room with space for more than 100 and its own private terrace will be ready in the New Year. A £1.2m poitin, whisky and gin distillery and ensuite boutique letting rooms will follow later in 2021.

Patrick commemnted, “The pub looks beautiful. We’re over the moon and excited to be finally opening. There’s been a massive amount of interest from residents; they’ve been desperate for the pub to reopen and to have somewhere to meet up again. We can’t thank them enough for their support and good wishes. We’re looking forward to being part of the community.”

Phil McWilliam, Star Pubs & Bars area manager, said, “The Hightown Hotel is definitely worth the wait, it looks amazing and hopefully will bring some much needed good cheer in these challenging times. It’s great news for Hightown but, with all that The Hightown Hotel now offers, it should attract people from across Merseyside, too.”