The people of Spateston near Johnstone have been spitting feathers for the last nine months without their only pub. The good news is that The Spateston Inn finally reopened last month, gleaming with a £494,000 refurbishment by Star Pubs & Bars.
Formerly The Osprey, it was due to reopen in mid-March but work was delayed by lockdown, meaning that new licensee and life-long local resident Christine Knox had to wait that wee bit longer before revealing the works to the pub’s regulars.
The Spateston Inn is her first pub of her own but Christine has worked in Johnstone and Glasgow pubs for over three decades. She said, “I was shaking when I saw the new design. It’s gorgeous and really has the wow factor. I think people are going to be blown away to have it as their local. The new team are all from the area, so there are plenty of familiar faces even if the pub looks completely different.”
“The Spateston Inn has a special place in my heart as it has always been my local and was my dad’s favourite pub. I’m over the moon to be running it. Spateston is crying out for a community hub.
“With so much new housing in the area, the demand for a welcoming local where people can get together and get to know each other has never been greater. I want the pub to fill that role again, just as it did when I was growing up. The interest in the refurbishment has been phenomenal, and there’s lots of excitement about the opening. I can’t thank people enough for their support.”
The project has helped with social distancing by making the pub more spacious and adding alfresco space. There is a new garden at the back and outdoor tables at the front with external seating for more than 100 people plus festoon lighting for evening use and the plantings really brighten up the space.
Stuart Warnock is director of Donaldson Construction, the main contractor on the job. He said, It was a challenge to keep the job as tight after COVID because our men on site were reduced from about a dozen to 6, but we were lucky in that it was a fairly spacious site to work on so we were able to practice social distancing and observe all the safety measures with ease. The end result is equally as spacious, plus the pub has such a good feel to it.”
The investment has transformed the pub inside and out and created 15 jobs, and the focus was very much to turn it into a great quality family-friendly local. The work opened up the interior and added new windows, giving it a light, airy feel. A contemporary design with wood floors, exposed brickwork, and plenty of stylish features complete the look.
As Spateston has no coffee shop either, Christine is introducing all-day coffee and hot drinks alongside a range of premium spirits, lagers, and wines and a menu of traditional pub grub.
Christine is implementing a host of new measures to ensure customer safety, securing the pub independent ‘Safe to Trade’ accreditation. Customers will be greeted at the door, shown to a table, and receive table service. There is also a one-way system, sanitiser stations, and an app for ordering.
Lawson Mountstevens, managing director of Star Pubs & Bars, said, “We’re passionate about creating great pubs for people to enjoy. We’re delighted to be joining forces with Christine to restore The Spateston Inn as a meeting place for residents and a centre of local life. It will hopefully bring some good cheer to the community.
“This project comes at a time when future investment in Scotland’s tied pubs is in danger of being jeopardised by The Tied Pubs Bill now being considered by the Scottish Parliament.”