IT has had two relaunches within a year but The Station House is definitely now on track with a new team, more investment and an emphasis on being a family friendly venue.

The Padgate pub restaurant – formerly The Stocks – has done away with its carvery for an American-style a la carte menu as well as an extensive vegan menu which has to be one of the best in Warrington.

So we were invited to give it a try for ourselves.

Run by Same Again Pubs – the same Warrington team who reopened The Ring O’ Bells in Church Street – The Station House underwent a £250,000 refurbishment at the end of last year.

You can definitely see where the money went as it instantly feels bright and welcoming. All the decoration and paintwork – with a blue and white colour scheme – looks fresh and the furniture and fittings are well kept with the likes of quirky light fittings and a log wall adding to the style.

It all amounts to an atmosphere that is friendly and casual – just what you want really when you are out for a pub meal – and manager Gareth Thomas is a real asset to the team as he is chatty and puts you at ease.

Those who love comfort food and big American classics will love it here.

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There are more than 10 burgers, eight hot dogs and a range of pizzas that can all be turned into a calzone. You can even get the likes of a burger served on two small pizzas or in between two waffles.

I was not feeling quite that adventurous so I opted for the nachos and the buttermilk chicken burger. There are plenty of upgrades available so I also had a slice of halloumi added to the burger.

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What I failed to factor in was that The Station House's American-style extends to the portion sizes. If you try it for yourself you really do need to bear this in mind because the burger – topped with two chicken fillets and halloumi – was staggering to even look at.

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Crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, it was delicious washed down with a pint of Old Stock, an exclusive real ale made for the pub by Warrington's own Coach House Brewery.

I gave it my best shot but was defeated and the nachos barely got a look in but were, again, incredibly generous and liberally topped with sour cream, guacamole and salsa.

My wife Sarah is a vegetarian, with a mainly vegan diet, so she was delighted with the pub's forward-thinking menu.

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Despite the rise in veganism, meals free from animal products are often an afterthought at restaurants so credit goes to executive chef Nathan Duckworth and the Same Again team for such great choice at the venue.

There is a similar range of burgers, dogs and pizzas on the vegan menu but Sarah went for the pepper, stuffed with rice, Napoli sauce and pesto, and the glazed and grilled aubergine 'steak' served with mushrooms, tomatoes and salad.

The only criticism is that some of the dishes such as these did not have much protein in but overall she was very impressed. The starter and main were hearty and full of flavour and the aubergine had a great chargrilled taste.

Add to that a new outdoor play area for kids at the front and The Station House is well worth a visit. If you have not been since The Stocks days you will be amazed at the transformation.

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