BEING shut for three lockdowns is tough enough, but one transformed Lymm bar has finally opened its doors once again, 14 months later.

The stylish Salt on Rectory Lane – formerly The Venue – closed in late March last year with the rest of the bars and pubs.

But as Covid-19 restrictions ease today, Monday, it allows for people to enjoy a drink inside, meaning that owner Tyler Cook can welcome eager visitors back.

After working at the bar for 11 years, first as a glass collector, then helping manage it, to now having taken it over, reopening is a long-awaited fresh start.

“It was so frustrating because when we took over we were so excited. We thought ‘oh it’ll be two weeks then we will be fine’ then it was set-back after set-back,” Tyler said.

“We decided we didn’t want to open the outside bit because we didn’t think it would be worth it so we thought ‘we’ll wait until everything’s clear and we’ll get going again’.

“It’s all worked out perfect. It’s been a blessing in disguise, really. Even though the lockdown has been grim, it’s given us a chance to redo it.

“I’ve always pictured myself having my own place so that was always the goal and it has ended up working out.”

Warrington Guardian: Image: Grace TaylorImage: Grace Taylor

Would they have had this makeover if it was not for the lockdown? “Not a chance”, the former Lymm High student says.

“We had an original plan just to sort the toilets out because they were a mess. We were just going to shut for a fortnight, do what we could, then gradually do bit by bit.

“The lockdown has given us a chance to completely kit the whole place out and get to this point.

“I think it’s all been worth it in the end.

Warrington Guardian: Salt's first drinkers - Image: Grace TaylorSalt's first drinkers - Image: Grace Taylor

“We’ve taken ideas from places we’ve been to. The hanging lights are from a place in the Lake District we went to and it was a really cool bar, I just thought ‘I want something like that in my bar definitely because it looks awesome.

“We had loads of ideas and eventually decided this is the right way to go about it. We never actually envisaged an idea straight into our heads, we just kept on adding to it until we got to the point we’ve got to now.

“The contractors weren’t happy because they like to have a set plan, and we kept coming in each week saying ‘we want this here, we want this here’,” he joked.

Warrington Guardian: Image: Grace TaylorImage: Grace Taylor

The new name Salt is a nod to the history of the three Salt mining works in Lymm, which Tyler – who will work the bar with his girlfriend Grace - wanted to pay tribute to.

He continued: “We wanted to change the name to get away from the previous name – The Venue – because there was always a reputation for it just being a late bar and we wanted to come away from that.

“So, we changed everything. The name, the look and we might be able to come away from that and start something brand new.

“We can’t wait to see everyone. All those who come in every day and talk to us, we just can’t wait to see them all.”