The co-owner of a small independent Wirral pub chain says that adapting their business model has helped them to weather the coronavirus lockdown storm.

Micro pub The Bow-Legged Beagle had barely opened the doors to their new Bromborough premises when they were forced to pull the shutters down, as the global health crisis saw government restrictions put in place.

But after gaining approval to operate as a take out set-up, the business, which has three pubs across Wirral, have been able to sustain custom without heavy damage to their overall operation.

Co-owner Andy Williams told the Globe: "The way the pubs were closed down was all geared towards big business. They were forewarned. I've since found out that an HR director at a big local global business knew that the pubs were closing before we did.

"It was all systematically thought out, just not very well executed. To do it (close pubs) on a Friday evening was silly. They should have done it on a Thursday."

Andy pulled no punches when asked what he thought when he heard that the lockdown was forcing all pubs to shut, adding: "The a*** fell out of my trousers to be precise!

"It was like a bomb had gone off and your ears are still ringing. Then we started worrying about how we were going to get rid of the beer.

"Once they allowed pubs to operate like off-licences we reopened a sold everything off.

Wirral Globe:

"It started off a bit slow, the takeaway, but it got busier and busier as word got about."

Andy and his team quickly recognised the need to adapt their business model and using a reduced workforce and with some help from a government grant they will reopen this weekend unscathed, as restrictions are partially lifted.

"We've never taken a loan in our lives and we never would do," said Andy. "The grant was a different thing altogether and very helpful. They got that bit right, the government."

With the Beagle pubs based in relatively small premises, they will reopen this weekend using an online booking system.

Punters will be able to reserve a table online and pay an initial up front tab for a drinking period of up to three hours.

Andy added: "We've turned into a beer restaurant with a liquid diet menu, but the level of support we have received locally has been incredible."