Every week we love to shine the spotlight on some of the best local venues that the borough has to offer, in our Pub of the Week feature.

This week we spoke to the landlord of The Bay Mare, Marcus Cooper, to see what the pub was all about, and what makes it so popular.

Name of the pub:

The Bay Mare

Address of the pub:

651 Blackburn Rd, Bolton BL1 7AA

Landlord and landlady name:

Marcus Cooper and Beth McCarthy

The Bolton News: Marcus with the other landlady Beth McCarthyMarcus with the other landlady Beth McCarthy (Image: Public) How long have you been the landlord/landlady for? And how are you finding it?

Four years and four months currently, and we love near enough every minute of it.

Read our top stories below:

Give us some history about the pub:

We have plenty of pictures of bygone times dotted around the pub, and often get people in asking about when their parents or grandparents used to come in, and plenty of them feature in some of our pictures or on the trophies dotted around.

Is there a beer garden? Please describe

We have a smoking area directly to the rear of the pub, and further back a patio, which is a lovely sun trap with speakers, parasols, benches, chairs, and tables, set away from the hustle and bustle of the road.

The Bolton News: Ruby Oliver and Sam MuttonRuby Oliver and Sam Mutton (Image: Public)What is the most popular drink served and why?

Our £3.50 house doubles always go down a treat. The Cruzcampo and the Boddingtons are also favourites!

What is the most memorable moment at the pub?

Most recently would have to be New Years Eve. We had an incredible turn out and a top night. All the staff were on a short shift rotation, so they had time to share a drink with our customers and each other. DJ Ant Hunt was amazing as always, and the atmosphere at midnight was spot on.

Do you have an entertainment line-up? Please explain

We have free pool every Monday, a free jukebox every Friday, a quiz night every other Thursday, and a DJ on the last Saturday of every month.

The Bolton News: Outside the Bay MareWhat are the biggest challenges within the industry and how can you overcome them?

Our biggest challenges at the moment are the cost-of-living crisis.

The energy bills are still through the roof, but we manage this well with energy saving equipment provided by the brewery, which means during the cold spells we can still have on our heating and fires and keep the great cosy atmosphere that our customers love.

The other challenge is the change of drinking habits that the Covid Lockdowns brought. It’s much more of a challenge to come up with creative ways to make it worth people’s while to get out of the house and into the pub for drinks, but the way we try to bring the community together with things being free on different nights, free food during England games, charity events, and DJ nights, we seem to get a brilliant mixed crowd in.

The Bolton News: All the staff together at the Christmas partyAll the staff together at the Christmas party (Image: Public)What is the best thing about running a pub and why?

The best thing about running a pub is meeting all the different characters and hearing a wide range of fantastic stories, and unusual tales. We are definitely never bored!

What is the worst thing about running a pub and why?

The hours can be long. A lot of people say all you are doing is pouring pints, but luckily for them they don’t know the half of what goes on behind the scenes. It’s much more of a lifestyle than a job. We would challenge anyone to live at work 24/7 and tell us it’s an easy job! It’s certainly a job done out of love!

What bonus things are offered at the pub? Please explain.

We offer a free jukebox on a Friday, a free pool table on a Monday, we run competitions for bar tabs, and if it’s your birthday you’re always offered a birthday shot on the house.

If you have a story and something you would like to highlight in the community, please email me at jasmine.jackson@newsquest.co.uk or DM me on Twitter @JournoJasmine.