Award-winning chef takes over at troubled Lancashire pub

Alex Coward
Alex Coward
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An award-winning chef, restaurateur and publican is set to expand his business into another local pub.

Alex Coward, 47, who currently runs the White Bull at Alston, is to take over Longridge’s troubled Alston Arms.

We believe that the Alston Arms needs to be returned to the community of Longridge. It has been lost to the village somewhat in recent years.

Alex Coward

“We are expanding; re-opening the Alston,” he said.

“We believe that the Alston Arms needs to be returned to the community of Longridge. It has been lost to the village somewhat in recent years.”

He says he was saddened to see the Alston Arms closed, describing it as “a fantastic pub in a fantastic location”.

Work to transform the pub back to its traditional style will start any moment and is expected to last six weeks, with the re-opening planned for the first week of June.

“We will take the pub back to its traditional pub roots.

“It has had a mixed look in recent years and we will be taking it right back to a traditional pub interior and serving traditional pub fayre at a different price mark to the White Bull and offering a different experience to what we do down there.”

Alex is planning on putting a new management team into the Alston, who, he says, have “considerable experience” and hopes to make it appeal to all ages, with “particular emphasis on the exterior area with the beer garden”.

He says the food will be a little bit cheaper than the White Bull, reflected in style of service, etc, but still serving “very good quality traditional pub fayre, all freshly produced”.

There will also be real ales, many of which will be locally sourced.

He will be retaining the White Bull under his Bowland Leisure Ltd name and says he will be developing it still further under the management of Kelvin Bardsley and head chef Mark Wilkinson.