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 manager of Hogarths Steve Hoyle to see how the pub life was treating him after winning The Bolton News Pub of the Year award last year.

Manager and manageress names name:

Steve Hoyle and his partner Linda Walker, who is the manageress

Name of the pub:


Address of the pub:

37-41 Churchgate, Bolton, BL1 1HU

The Bolton News: Manager Steve Hoyle and bar tender Kelly CarrManager Steve Hoyle and bar tender Kelly Carr (Image: Newsquest)How long have you been the manager for? And how are you finding it?

I have been here for two years and four months. I worked at the Northern Way on Nelson Square, and The Royal in Runcorn. I have been in the industry for around 26 years. I just enjoy what I do and I enjoy meeting new people. I get a lot of satisfaction out of what I do.

Give us some history about the pub:

As far as I know, it was an old picture house, then it became The Boars Head in 1721, before it was known as the Varsity, then the Capitol, and finally Hogarths in 2014.

Read some of our top stories below:

Is food served? If so please describe it or if there are plans to in the future.

It is not served at the moment, but we are looking at street food venues to go outside, including Greek, other Mediterranean food, and Indian. We applied to the council a few months ago and are waiting to hear back. The ones that we were looking at were at the Bolton Food and Drink Festival. If this is successful, we are thinking of rotating the food venues every week. We saw an event in Ramsbottom and they do it once a month on a Friday. And we thought we would try something a bit different for Bolton. If any other business or venders in Bolton are interested they can contact us directly.

The Bolton News: Karaoke boothKaraoke booth (Image: Newsquest)Is there a beer garden? Please describe

We have one at the front and one at the back. At the front we have benches, canopies for the bad weather or to use as a cover from the sun. At the back we have three booths, two big umbrellas, and some TVs on the wall for any sporting events, and it is a popular feature. We sometimes do BBQs in the summer.

What is the most popular drink served and why?

Mainly gins. We are more or less a gin bar, and we do between 90 to 100 gins, and we have a gin menu. When I took it over the company was already doing gins.

The Bolton News: Just one of many shelves showcasing the gin on offerJust one of many shelves showcasing the gin on offer (Image: Newsquest)What is the most memorable moment at the pub?

When I took over it. A lot of people came in and followed me from other pubs I previously ran in Bolton.

 I think punters came to Hogarths with me because of the live entertainment I used to do. It made me feel brilliant that they came to this pub. I went away for two years when I went to Runcorn, and when I came back to Bolton it really took off. It seemed there was a need for entertainment.

The Bolton News: Back beer gardenBack beer garden (Image: Newsquest)Do you have an entertainment line-up?

We have bands, tribute artists, solo artists, and DJs. The music here ranges from The Beatles to Neil Diamond (Garry Ryan), Tina Turner (Justina Riddoch), and more. We also have a karaoke booth, where customers can book online or via our Facebook page. It is free to book. We only ask for a deposit for the microphones, which is £10 each, which they get back after they’ve finished.

What are the biggest challenges within the industry and how can you overcome them?

The challenge is continuing to do what we do, and bringing fresh faces in, but I think what we are doing is working because we have started getting fresh faces in every week. We have good comradery with the way we go about things. The staff are fantastic.

The Bolton News: The live entertainment stageThe live entertainment stage (Image: Newsquest)What is the best and worst thing about running a pub and why?

The long hours, but it’s the satisfaction of knowing we have brought smiles to people’s faces.

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

We do outings including race days at the Cartmel Racecourse on the August Bank Holiday, which I have been doing for 22 years. We organise lots of events like going to Blackpool for the day with staff and customers, and we go to the management company’s venues Amber Taverns. We always organise coaches to take people there. I just like the comradery, the people, and sitting down and talking to people, and joining in with the entertainment. I have been in the game that long that it’s just a part of your blood to do things like this. We also have two booths available for parties and certain events, which customers can book by contacting us.

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.