A MAN named Barr is the new landlord behind the bar at historic Shaw pub The Queen Anne Inn.
Yorkshireman Chris Barr is determined to breathe new life into a building first erected in 1760.
But the 57-year-old has a message for locals – ‘use it or lose it’.
Fortunately for drinkers, Chris has more than 30 years in the trade and is confident with support from Star Pubs and Bars (Heineken UK), he can transform the future of the Church Road hostelry.
“They are very supportive and want to give the place a new lease of life,” explained Chris who re-opened the pub on June 22.
“I’ve signed an initial six-month temporary agreement. And if it does well I will take it on a long-term lease.
“I am not going to throw money after something that is not working but the signs are good so far.
“Potentially, it is very viable. It needs to build but I believe I can do that with Star support.
“What I wouldn’t like to see is it becomes flats,” added Chris whose previous pubs include the Spring Vale in Oldham and Anglers Arms in Failsworth.
“When it shut down last time (in May) I think everyone thought it was going to become a restaurant or flats. The rates pubs are closing is quite phenomenal.”
Chris is already making changes to The Queen Anne, which was re-built in 1924, to entice back former customers and gain new ones.
For starters, there will be longer opening hours, ‘workers’ play-time’ plus live entertainment and karaoke disco.
“Previously, it didn’t open until teatime,” explained Chris, supported in his new venture by partner Sheena.
“Now it will open 10am-11pm on Monday to Thursday, 10am-1am on Friday and Saturday, and 11am to 11pm on Sundays.
“They are long hours but it is worth trialling,” he added.
“I am here so I might as well utilise the licence to the best of its ability.
“If I am twiddling my thumbs for four hours then maybe I’ll think again.
“Trade does need to pick up but as I said the early signs are encouraging.”