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Busby Licensee Unveils Stunning Garden Revamp for April 26th Reopening

With pubs preparing to reopen on April 26th, an East Renfrewshire pub is getting set to unveil a stunning outside revamp that has created one of the biggest and best beer gardens on the south side of Glasgow.

Rick Houston of The Cartvale at Busby has been working on the project since January. It has expanded the garden to seat 100 people and encompasses everything from new furniture, canopies and festoon lighting to quirky decorations, ice buckets in barrels and planting displays. With no coffee shop in Busby, there’s even a new cabin in the garden called The Shack Out the Back, which will sell hot drinks, ice creams and sweet and savoury snacks all day. Rick hopes to attract walkers and cyclists visiting the area as well as local residents and is including cycle racks and dog treats. During pub opening hours, The Shack will double as an order point ensuring speedier service for customers sitting outside.

Rick has undertaken much of the £6,000 transformation himself with the help of friends who have donated their time for free and local suppliers who have provided items at cost.

The Cartvale’s restaurant and bar are ready to go, too, with new food and drinks menus to mark its reopening.

A Renfrewshire resident with over 25 years experience in hospitality, Rick fell in love with The Cartvale and, undeterred by Covid, took it over during lockdown 1.0 in time to open last July. Since then Rick and his team have worked tirelessly to establish The Cartvale as a great quality pub. Despite the restrictions, they have launched an outstanding all day food menu and made the inside inviting for occasions of all kinds. A weekend takeaway has kept The Cartvale in touch with residents since it closed in November. The changes have won five star reviews and brought customers flooding back. The Cartvale is already fully booked for the evening of April 26th and the first weekend.

Says Rick: “The community is desperate for The Cartvale to reopen and any sense of normality; they’ve missed the camaraderie of the pub and many of them are keen to have a proper draught pint again. Taking over a pub in the middle of a pandemic wasn’t ideal timing but I’ve no regrets. We’re very grateful to the community, they’ve got behind us and supported us every step of the way. The whole team is excited; we can’t wait to welcome people back.

“It has been a tough time for pubs. We’ve been fortunate to have received 90% rent cuts for much of the pandemic from the pub’s owners, Star Pubs & Bars. Many licensees haven’t been so lucky and are in a precarious position. For pubs to thrive long term, further Government support is required including permanent VAT cuts. Draconian and nonsensical restrictions must go and pubs be allowed to serve alcohol and open during the licensable hours. If we can trade properly, I’m optimistic and think pubs will have a fantastic summer.”

Comments Mick Howard, operations director for Star Pubs & Bars: “Rick has done a brilliant job at The Cartvale. The garden looks amazing; customers are in for a fantastic experience. We’re delighted to have helped Rick with rent support and wish him all the best for the reopening.”