The new South Ribble micropub trying to tempt people who 'wouldn’t normally go out'
A new micro pub in Lostock Hall will welcome its first customers this week - and its landlord wants to provide a place for people who have stopped going out.
Ray McLaughlin is set to throw open the doors of his Hope Terrace venue on Friday (24th Januray) - barely a week after being granted planning permission.
“I got carried away and have had it all kitted out - so it’s a good job they said yes,” laughed Ray, speaking shortly after approval was granted by South Ribble Borough Council for what will be Lostock Hall’s only micropub.
Earlier, the former bouncer and security guard told committee members that he intends to develop “something different” with his new venture.
“I’m trying to create somewhere that the more mature clientele can go, where there is no music, no open mic nights and no gaming machines.
“It’s going to be a venue where people can just talk - where people who wouldn’t normally come out have the chance to sit in a very safe and comfortable environment and think to themselves: ‘This is alright this’.”
“Because it’s a micropub, it’s just me. It’s about bringing people out for a good old fashioned chat,” said Ray, who has previously spent time running a pub in Preston.
It was a pitch which proved just the tonic for councillors, who lined up to praise the plans.
Committee member Barrie Yates described it as “a breath of fresh air”.
“You go into pubs nowadays and you can’t talk - you’re having to shout to people who are just in front of you because the music is so loud,” he said.
The meeting heard that the number of retail units in Lostock Hall has dropped by almost 10 percent in little more than a year due to a number of vacant premises - including the former card shop which will now house Lostock Ale.
South Ribble councillor and Lancashire County Council member Michael Green - in whose County Hall division the pub sits - said the proposed business would enhance the area.
“We all want thriving district centres,” he said.
Environmental health officers had no concerns about noise leaking out from the building to neighbouring premises, but they have stipulated that a first floor flat should not be used as third party residential accommodation because of the risk of noise from an adjoining cellar. Members were told that the lease agreement meant that the flat could not be sub-let in any case.