Top pub transforms into takeaway and grocers for locals amid COVID-19 crisis

A 200-year-old boozer has transformed itself into a grocers, butchers and takeaway to help keep a community going during the coronavirus crisis.

The Glynne Arms, in Hawarden, Flintshire, will continue to serve locals after re-opening as a makeshift supermarket.

It comes after the historic pub served last orders last Tuesday (March 17) before Boris Johnson enforced a lockdown of all but essential shops.

Owner Charlie Gladstone, 55, who is the great-great-grandson of former Prime Minister Sir William Gladstone said: “A good pub has always been at the centre of any community and that’s what we try to do.

"It was a very quick idea that everyone got behind. It started last Monday when the government said that they were discouraging people from going into pubs, restaurants and cafes.

"I took the decision to close our two cafes and our pub instantly because it felt like the right thing to do."

He added: ”I could see what was coming and at that stage, I was thinking, everyone's going to lose their jobs if we are not careful.

"So, what we decided to do was to try and repurpose the pub as a village shop in order for two things.

"One was that we would help our community, because our village has got a lot of elderly people living in it and a lot of people with young children, and the other was to try and keep our staff in jobs."

Dad-of-six Charlie inherited the gastropub which has been in his family for 180 years and also lives in his famous ancestor's former home.

Among the products being offered are takeaway meals and four-pint flagons of ale and beer, alongside stock from the two farm shops the family also owns.

The meals include hand-rolled pizza and fish and chips, with fresh fruit and veg, bread, eggs, meat, milk also available to buy.

Despite the upheaval and limited resources, they are also offering a delivery service for the most vulnerable people in the village.

Charlie added: "We're selling off all the produce from the pub.

"We've obviously got lots of beer in the pumps and loads of bottles of wine on the shelves.

"We have 500 of the four-pint flagons, which people are filling up and taking home so they can drink at home.

"We've got chefs now doing takeaways, many which have been really popular. We're also doing deliveries for the elderly and people in need.

"We've only got one small van, so we are limited by how much we can actually do.

"What we're really trying to do is to keep our team positive, as well as safe, but also serve the community because people need food with some supermarkets not having any.

"It's success also depends on whether the government is prepared to support small businesses as well as big supermarkets.

"It's a great opportunity to show the importance of local rather than the mega-companies.

"We need help with business rates more than anything.

"It's actually been a really exciting opportunity for us to try and help people in new and different ways."

Charlie said the process has gone "very smoothly" and is delighted to be able to give back to the local area.

The granddad-of-one added: "It was very easy because we have got an unbelievably good team. Everyone seemed to understand what we were doing.

"Everyone just went into action. The supply chains for the smaller shops are fine at the moment, it's just the supermarkets that have been hit really hard.

"Because we don't use the same supply chain, we use the local guy who makes milk or the local person who produces eggs, we don't have a supply issue.

"Those people were more than happy to get that produced straight away. It's been really successful.

"We've had to be careful because we're only letting a certain number of people into the shop each time.

"We have put hand wash stations at the entrance and exits, which were easy to hire. We are trying to keep people apart.

"Of course the government has stepped in with good financial help.

"We wouldn't dream of stopping unless we're forced too because the community has been massively positive and have been using it in ways that we couldn't imagine."

The pub was voted AA Pub of the Year for Wales in 2019 and was described as "a charming pub with quite a deliberate unfinished feel to d cor and ambience."

Source: Read Full Article