Penwortham micropub going out on a limb to survive

A popular micropub has asked for council permission to extend its pavement seating area so it can afford to re-open next month.

By Brian Ellis
Friday, 26th March 2021, 3:45 pm

The owner of the Tap and Vine on Penwortham’s main street says it will be “unviable” to resume trading as it is when bars and restaurants are released from lockdown outdoors on April 12.

“At the moment our outside seating area at the front only accommodates about 16 to 20 people, so it’s not really going to be worth getting staff in if that’s all we can use,” said Debbie Colles.

“So we’ve asked the council if we can use an area down the side of the building as a temporary fix to seat another 20 to 25 customers, just to make us viable.”

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Debbie Colles with husband Jason outside the Penwortham micropub.

Before Covid the Tap and Vine had a capacity of 64 indoors in addition to the seating outside. When coronavirus restrictions came in the indoor limit became 24 to ensure social distancing.

“We opened when we were allowed, but we made a loss,” revealed Debbie. “On April 12, if we can only open at the front it is unlikely we will be able to cover our bills.

“There is heating, lighting, air conditioning for the beers and, if we have a barrel of 70 pints, we would probably end up throwing half of it away.

"We’ve asked to be able to put tables down the side for a temporary period of six months and then review it after that.

The Tap and Vine only has a small outside area at the front.

"But if things return to normal and we can get back to our normal capacity indoors then we may not need to use it after that.

“We have a good relationship with householders at the back on Rawstorne Road and we don’t want to disturb them in any way. We pride ourselves in being good neighbours.

“We only want to use the side area up until 10pm and we probably wouldn’t need to use it on weekdays, only weekends.”