Drinks flowing again as fire-hit pub is reopened

Owners Steve and Trudie Turner at the Dressers Arms
Owners Steve and Trudie Turner at the Dressers Arms

“It’s the same old Dressers, but with a new frock on.”

Those were the words of Steve Turner after his pub, The Dressers Arms in Wheelton, reopened on Wednesday.

The pub, on Briers Brow, was badly damaged when a blaze broke out in April.

But owners Steve and Trudie Turner were determined to get back behind the bar and worked hard to rebuild the pub.

They planned to reopen at 3pm on Wednesday, but opened early when customers were waiting outside and banging on the door at 1pm.

Steve, who has owned the pub for 20 years, said: “When the fire happened, we stood here from six o’clock in the morning to eight o’clock at night watching the business go up in flames.

“I said to people we would be back. They said it would take 12 to 18 months.

“But I said we would be open on November 5 and we were.”

Steve describes the rebuilt pub as “very traditional”, with log fires and different themes.

He said: “This pub is over 300 years old and has had a lot of owners. Everybody has done a little bit extra, so it was very much a patchwork quilt of a pub.

“Through misfortune, we have been able to take a clean sheet of paper and design everything as it should be.

“The pub is beautiful and everybody is knocked out with the work we have done.”

He has recruited 22 new members of staff, along with two employees who worked there before the fire.

The reopening is already proving to be popular, with regulars and new customers.

Steve said: “All our regulars have flocked to us.

“They have been like lost souls for the past six months.”

He praised Chorley Council for their help.

Little Hong Kong restaurant, which is in the same building, will reopen tomorrow, Wednesday.