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North Lincolnshire Villages Only Pub Reopens After Major Revamp

It’s a double celebration for one North Lincolnshire pub this week, which is not only reopening after the lockdown but is also showcasing its stunning £250,000 revamp for the first time.

The Wheatsheaf in Hibaldstow was due to reopen at the end of March following the refurbishment by licensees Maggie and David Gibson and Heineken-owned Star Pubs & Bars. Instead, the Gibsons have had to wait a further three months before revealing the changes to the village.

The investment has transformed The Wheatsheaf inside and out and restored it as a great quality village pub. The work has brought out all the character and charm of the building, which is believed to date back to 1803. Thanks to a kitchen upgrade, the Gibsons are able to offer an extended menu of homemade pub favourites, freshly prepared and using ingredients from local suppliers. There is also a wider choice of drinks including premium wines and spirits, low and no alcohol options and good coffee.

With social distancing now required, Maggie and David are delighted that the project included a garden makeover. The garden now boasts two patios complete with new furniture and umbrellas, pretty planting and festoon lighting for the evenings.

The couple have instigated a host of measures to meet new health & safety guidelines and ensure customer safety. Staff greet customers at the door, show them to their seats and provide table service. Tables are spaced out and there is also a one-way system, hand-sanitiser stations and regular cleaning throughout opening hours. Says Maggie: “We had a pre-opening night to test the menu. Some guests were a little apprehensive about coming out but when they saw all the safety procedures we’ve got in place, they relaxed, removed their facemasks and said they felt completely reassured.”

The Gibsons took over The Wheatsheaf in July 2019. Since then they’ve turned the pub into a much valued and well-loved hub of Hibaldstow life. During the lockdown, the couple provided a meal delivery service for elderly and vulnerable people who were struggling to get food. Due to popular demand and with the help of volunteer drivers, this expanded into a service for others in the area in need of a break from cooking.

Adds Maggie: “Work on the pub finished the day Boris announced the lockdown. It was hard for the village to have to wait so long to see their new-look pub but, judging by the early reactions, it has been worth the wait. People have really missed having somewhere to meet up and the pub felt sad without them. We’re pleased to be bringing a bit of normality back to everyone’s lives again and grateful to local residents for all their good wishes throughout the lockdown. It meant the world to us and kept up our morale. It’s great to be open again.”

Comments Grant Morgan-Tolworthy, Star Pubs & Bars’ operations director for Lincolnshire: “Maggie and David have put The Wheatsheaf back on the map with people across the region and given Hibaldstow a pub it can be proud of. We’re delighted to have built on their hard work with this investment. Maggie and David really care about the pub and serving the local community. We wish them every success for the future; they certainly deserve it.”