If you are out and about in Longridge and see two large St Bernard dogs taking their owners for a walk, they hope you will stop and say hello.
Not to the dogs, Beethoven and Queenie - to their owners, please!
They are Paul and Inge Brown, recently arrived from Holland, who are shortly to take over at the Alston Arms from Nick and Lindsay Metcalfe, popular licensees at the road junction pub for the past four years.
Nick and Lindsay are moving on to pastures news after a combined total of 50 years in the business. They took over the Star Pubs and Bars pub six months after it closed as Deno’s Mediterranean-based restaurant, reinstated beer pumps and renewed the bar - “taking it back to a traditional pub with quality food,” said Nick.
Together with all the staff, that is what Paul and Inge are inheriting as they plan their move with daughters Jemma and Rianne, dogs Beethoven and Queenie and they are planning a third ‘big difference’ when they introduce a Dutch cheese platter to the already popular menu.
Bolton-born Paul trained at the town’s college and worked for several breweries, meeting Inge who was also doing catering in England, and they married at the Pack Horse in Bolton.
A move to Holland was made after Inge continued in the catering trade there. Paul worked in logistics before they decided to return to England and combine their skills at the Alston Arms.
They will close the pub on September 1 before the pub’s official handover on Monday, September 2, when the pub will open just in the evening, returning to normal opening hours on the Tuesday.