Welcome to our new Trader of the Week feature where we celebrate the hard working people behind Warrington businesses in particularly tough times

HE has worked at many pubs across the north west but The Green Dragon was always his favourite.

So Steve Alborough is proud to be back behind the bar of the Lymm pub restaurant after restoring it to its former glory.

Before the pandemic, Steve’s job was helping to improve many of Vintage Inns’ 184 country pubs.

He would lead things like staff training and coming up with action plans for pubs to increase their sales as well as covering for managers while they were off.

Warrington Guardian:

Steve was last at The Green Dragon in Mill Lane about a year and a half ago when he helped with the handover to a new manager.

He said: “When I first had the Green Dragon it was just for a couple of months so I could train up the staff and make sure it was in a fit state.

“But I was drawn back there because of the challenges of the pandemic.

“Vintage Inns said: ‘We you need to have a pub’ and I chose Green Dragon because I was that fond of it before.

Warrington Guardian:

“The location sells itself. If you get the garden in the right light it is a beautiful place.”

Steve took over about two weeks before the end of the lockdown with the task of bringing in a new team and preparing for the ‘new normal’.

He added: “I came in and made sure it was all tidy and clean. The paintwork was given a touch up and the garden was neatened up because, to be honest, the pub was not in the state I left it when I handed it over.”

Steve and new head chef David Langshaw have also improved Green Dragon’s Tripadvisor status in a short space of time.

Warrington Guardian:

He said: “David is putting out some fantastic food. The aromatic duck salad is a light dish that rocks.

“The lamb duo – pan-fried lamb rump and a shepherd’s pie – is a hearty dish that you can wolf down and the beef bourguignon is just phenomenal – melt in your mouth, slow-cooked beef.

“David’s been making sure everyone in the kitchen is fully trained and all the dishes are coming out just right.

“The previous Tripadvisor reviews were things like ‘the food wasn’t hot enough’, ‘the quality wasn’t great’ or ‘it took too long to come out’.

Warrington Guardian:

“We’ve taken it from something that was perhaps below average to now getting great reviews and feedback.”

Steve admitted it has been ‘difficult’ in the Covid-19 era but it is a challenge he’s been happy to take on.

The dad-of-one added: “Since the coronavirus we’ve obviously had to rethink everything. You can’t be as close or accommodating to the guests that come through the door.

“We’ve been training our staff on keeping their distance while still getting that sense of hospitality and their personality across.

Warrington Guardian:

“But the government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme has been a phenomenal success for us.

“New people have come through the door because of that and they’ve been pleased by the service or the quality of the food.

“I just want to make sure everyone comes in feeling safe and leaves feeling happy. It’s all table service now and some people miss the interaction with others at the bar so it’s been a bit of an adjustment but now everyone has settled into it.

“It’s about having those processes there that allow you to feel comfortable in the place.”

Do you want to share your company’s success story or shout about how your business has adapted in tough times? To be considered for our Trader of the Week feature email david.morgan@nqnw.co.uk