AN EXPERIENCED pub manager has praised his staff for the dedication they have shown during the coronavirus pandemic.

Paul Barrow of The Victoria Tavern, Barrow, took over the running of the pub on the day the country went into lockdown - but that has not stopped his determination to keep the happy customers coming through the pub doors.

Mr Barrow said: "I've been doing this work for 22 years now. I was put here as a holding manager in October and I've ran it since then.

"I had an interview a couple of weeks before lock down and I had got told the day that lockdown happened that the pub was mine - great timing.

"I've been looking forward to opening the pub and having a fresh start with new management since then.

"It's onwards and upwards hopefully."

Although the pub and restaurant has opened up, it will still take time until things feel 'normal', according to Mr Barrow.

He said: "Things are very strange still - it takes a while for everybody to get used to it.

"And that's for both staff and customers, it's not something that happens over night but things are working well.

"Business is ticking over and it really picked up with the help of the Eat Out to Help Out scheme.

"It has been really, really positive for the business.

"We are doing really well."

"The Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday turned into the new Thursday, Friday, Saturday.

"We were really busy - it was crazy, but we all pulled together.

"We dug in, stuck together and we got through it.

"That is what team work is all about, isn't it? There's not just me who runs the pub.

"We are hoping to welcome even more customers back but there are obviously still those who are shielding, such as our older regulars.

"But it's all good."

The pub has got strict measures in place to ensure that the building is covid-safe.

He said: "To make things safe for our customers we have a one way system in place, sanitising stations all over and we have a pub safe promise with Greene King.

"We have a cleaning monitor on and a door monitor on - and every table is cleaned from when somebody gets up and leaves.

"We are really making sure that we are keeping on top of everything.

"We will be continuing to sanitise everything.

"It's all got to be done so we can try and return to some kind of normality.

"I hope that there's a light at the end of this tunnel and that things can eventually turn back to normal.

Praising his staff, Mr Barrow said: "A lot of people on the team have stepped up and worked extra shifts.

"Everybody has worked really hard."

To visit 'The Vic', pop along from 11am-11pm Sunday-Thursday, and 11am-12am Friday-Saturday.