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 The Southfields, Adrian Stones.

Name of the pub:

The Southfields

 Pub address:

19 Green Lane, Great Lever, BL3 2EE

Manager and assistant manager:

Manager Adrian Stones and assistant manager Anne-Louise Howell

The Bolton News: How long have you been the manager for? And how are you finding it?

I have been with the company Sizzling Pubs for about 10 years. I went to run the flagship pub in Blackpool for a bit after running The Southfields. They phoned me up last year and asked if I wanted to come back, and I had been involved in the business and made friends here. When I first took over the pub it needed some work as it had problems with anti-social-behaviour. We worked on the pub and started smashing figures, and from there we haven’t looked back. I have been in the trade since the 90s, and I started in clubs.

Give us some history about the pub:

It’s a beautiful, grand, and imposing building, which used to be the Walkers’ Tannery Institute owned by the Walker family. They had a mil where they made leather, and their staff used to come here as part of a social club, and some of the community. There used to be four bowling greens behind here, with old tennis courts and staff, which was later turned into allotments. At the back is Walker Avenue. Some customers remember their wedding here 40 years ago.

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

It’s mainly grilled style traditional pub food, with burgers, steak, Greek gyros and British classics. The majority of food is cooked fresh, with care. We are a pub that serves good quality food rather than a restaurant serving food.

Is there a beer garden? Please describe

We have a massive beer garden. We have the patio in the front with about 30 tables.

What is the most popular drink served and why?

We had the whole gin phase, but it has popped now. Carlsberg is one of our best premium beers. People also enjoy Coors, San Miguel, and Peroni. People are moving away from John Smiths and Stella to new premium beers. We change the cocktail menu every year, and we plan to launch a new one in the summer. Cocktails are popular at night-time events. It all depends on what people are looking for. The most popular shots are Tequila Rose, and Baby Guinness.

What is the most memorable moment at the pub?

When we reopened, and all of the events we do, it’s always a good atmosphere, especially during our August event, and it has grown, and grown, and grown.

The Bolton News: Manager Adrian StonesManager Adrian Stones (Image: The Southfields)Do you have an entertainment line-up?

We put on lots of events on a massive field, which used to be four bowling greens. We have a lot of music events in the summer, with lots of tribute acts. We have an event on May 5 bank holiday, and a mini fair on bank holiday August. We also have a bingo night on the last Friday of every month. Guests also love our karaoke on the last Saturday of every month. We also do work with the Make-A-Wish charity.

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

The greatest challenge was Covid, and a close team of people, and us all not fully knowing what would happen with closure and it never been experienced before. A team of people I care about and not knowing what furlough was and how it would affect it. Whilst it was novel having time off, we couldn’t enjoy it. The second lockdown was tougher on all out mental health, especially with the personal Bolton own lockdown. I for one struggled.

The Bolton News: What is the best thing about running a pub and why?

The greatest moment is seeing Anne-Louis Howell being promoted to assistant manager, she is self-driven and a fighter. I’m proud to see her through her last stage and call her a friend, she is one to watch out for - and keeps me from trouble I can get into easily.
What is the worst thing about running a pub and why?

It takes up a lot of your time, but I have a passion for my work, and it can be rewarding.

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

We have a function room people can hire, and have a lot of buffets, celebrations, and wakes here. We have a function room that can have about 30-40 people in, but we can extend this to about 60 people with another room that we can open. We are a big size pub and we became and all green pub last year, which measures staff, guests, and engagement. I am responsible for energy and sustainability ambassador of 17 other pubs.

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.