Busby licensee is ready to reopen

AN East Renfrewshire licensee has prepared for the reopening of the trade with an extensive refurbishment of his pub’s outdoor area.

Rick Houston took on the lease of Busby pub The Cartvale during the first lockdown in 2020, opening the pub in July.

In January he began an expansion of the pub’s outdoor area which has increased capacity to 100 people, added a new cabin – dubbed The Shack Out the Back – which will dispense snacks, hot drinks and ice cream. He also invested in new furniture, canopies and lighting.

The project cost around £6000.

“The community is desperate for The Cartvale to reopen and for any sense of normality,” said Houston.

“They’ve missed the camaraderie of the pub and many of them are keen to have a proper draught pint again. Taking over a pub in the middle of a pandemic wasn’t ideal timing but I’ve no regrets. We’re very grateful to the community, they’ve got behind us and supported us every step of the way.

“The whole team is excited; we can’t wait to welcome people back.”

Mick Howard, operations director for landlord Star Pubs & Bars, said Houston “has done a brilliant job at The Cartvale”.

“The garden looks amazing; customers are in for a fantastic experience,” said Howard. “We’re delighted to have helped Rick with rent support and wish him all the best for the reopening.”

The Cartvale will be one of around 115 of Star Pubs & Bars’ Scottish pubs to reopen on 26th April.

The pub company has said that it will continue to reduce rent across its estate “until restrictions are fully lifted”.