The Bell sounds out a welcome to customers after delayed reopening
A picturesque south Staffordshire village pub has finally reopened after major repairs and then the coronavirus lockdown kept it shut for five months.
Woodsetton-based Holden's Brewery has made a significant financial investment in upgrading The Bell in Trysull.
Director Abi Kemp said that the brewery made the decision earlier this year to take management of the pub, which is believed to date back to the 18th Century, after it was tenanted for nearly 20 years.
Plans to refurbish the Wombourne Road premises next to All Saints Church, whose tower was built in the 12th Century, hit an obstacle with the discovery that the roof had serious problems.
"It was only after the Bell closed on February 16 that we realised the roof would have to be taken down to the first floor to replace it.
"The start of the lockdown in march then meant the reopening was further delayed," she explained.
The Bell with new bar manager Morgan Osborne and restaurant manager Lauren George in place finally reopened for drinkers and diners on Wednesday, July 15, but with reduced capacity and seating to meet news social distancing rules.
"It is a big and exciting day for us," said Abi.
Holden's has been gradually reopening its 19 pubs across the Black Country, Staffordshire and Shropshire since restrictions were lifted. The Mill in Upper Gornal was also reopening on Friday, July 17.
The Bell's restaurant is now booking only on 01902 892871, by email or through the pub’s website or Facebook page.
Holden's is now back to brewing at about 60 per cent of capacity. It continued to sell bottles of its beers through its brewery shop in the lockdown and is continuing to sell them at those pubs that are now open.
"We are taking small steps as we try to return to normal. The most important thing is that our staff and customers feel comfortable and safe.
"We have really been looking forward to welcoming customers back to The Bell and all our other pubs," added Abi.
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