Landlady vows to turn around pub once a base for yobs
THE new landlady of a pub once associated with drug dealing and anti-social behaviour has promised a safer and more attractive venue for Ormskirk residents.
Vanessa Mills took over the Queen’s Head during lockdown and quickly implemented a host of changes to revitalise the trouble-hit pub.
Police had previously raised concerns over a group of youths associated with selling cannabis, carrying weapons and adopting abusive behaviour using the Queen’s Head as a base.
The teenagers were the target of a police operation launched in February 2019 and were frequently found inside the pub.
But the Queen’s Head is under both new ownership and management and Vanessa pledged that it is now a much safer and friendlier place to visit.
Since reopening post lockdown, it has enjoyed good trade as locals made their return to nights out in the town centre.
Changes include the introduction of door staff and a dress code as well as an internal refurbishment.
Vanessa said: “During lockdown, the Queen’s Head became available and the tenant said ‘do you want to run it?’.
“I got the keys in July and we gave it a face lift and lick of paint and cleaned up the general list of things that needed doing for a long time.
“It did have a bad reputation but the previous landlord did not follow the requirements like having doormen.
“It’s not been looked after but I’m trying to turn it around.”
As well as renovating the pub, Vanessa has increased staff numbers and hired door staff to ensure the pub is safe, while a dress code has been implemented on weekend nights.
Early feedback has been positive and Vanessa says locals have been turning out in good numbers.
“It’s been really good. I must admit people were saying we’ve got a lot on our hands because of the bad reputation it’s had. I was aware of that but also confident I could turn it around.
“The customers have been really good and they haven’t been shouting and dancing round like some places have.”
Originally from Lancashire, Vanessa has worked in the hospitality trade since the age of 18, taking the occasional break to travel across North and South America, Canada and Eastern Europe.
Her work has also seen her work as assistant manager in chain restaurants in London before she was brought back to the North West to help run pubs in Preston.
Those venues include the Dog and Partridge and the Old Black Bull and she in now in sole charge of the Queen’s Head.
Live music and DJ events are set to become a feature again and Vanessa hopes that those who have been put off in the past will be willing to return.
“The Queen’s Head has had a bad reputation but we want a fresh chance.
“I’ve heard a lot of people say ‘I’ve not been in there for years’ but it’s not what it was.”
The pub now has door staff and a dress code, as well as being refurbished inside
The Queens Head had a reputation for drug dealing and anti-social behaviour under previous ownership