BUSINESSES IN LOCKDOWN – The Victoria Walshaw

From bringing the Vic to the Village, to a Takeaway Restaurant. Landlady of the popular Victoria pub & restaurant, Lisa Moore has worked tirelessly to build a business that serves the heart of the community. However the recent Covid-19 events have seen the whole country sent into lockdown, causing many businesses to close. Pubs & restaurants have been particularly hit hard so she turned to our love of great quality food to try and keep their business going.
In a recent interview with Lisa, our reporter Fay Turner found out more…

The Victoria pub and restaurant has diversified to a takeaway? What made you look at going down that path?
We felt like we couldn’t just sit back and do nothing and we couldn’t see any return to the normal in the foreseeable future either. So we had to look at ways to serve our isolated regulars, the wider community and to bring some of our staff back from furlough. So we started to provide our restaurant quality food as a takeaway service from Wednesday to Sundays.

Is running a takeaway much different than running your pub and restaurant?
Yes, we had to work out a whole new system of how to work from taking orders, the kitchen and presentation and now we are even looking into how we package and making sure we are environmentally friendly. The feedback has been great and we are even getting people sending pictures of their food and saying how lovely it looks and tastes.

You had a whole host of live entertainment and events that have had to be cancelled this year. Have you managed to host any events?
We have! Two nominated care homes; Elizabeth House and Sunny bank celebrated VE Day through our May Music Matinee where we provided a virtual link of live entertainment and provided cakes for them all to enjoy. We also donated a Fish and Chip supper to Ramsbottom ward after providing them with an iPad so that patients could talk to their families who were unable to visit and for dementia patients to use as stimulation.

Your efforts haven’t stopped there. What else have you done within the community?
A percentage of our takings have been donated to the NHS Charity trust and to date we have raised £700. We are on a rota to provide meals for hospital staff within North Manchester, Bolton, Fairfield hospital and Rochdale infirmary and are also part of Eat Well Manchester an initiative that provides meals for food banks and hospitals. This Saturday, stars from Coronation Street will see them auction off their donated memorabilia to raise funds for this much needed charity.

And moving forward …What does the future hold for The Victoria?
We don’t intend the coronavirus to reduce all our hard work and are constantly listening to the government regarding restrictions and safety. We do have two beer gardens but there are currently restrictions on use of the facilities, so we have to try and get around that and we are looking at perhaps streaming our live music. But for the moment we are just trying to let everyone know about our delicious Restaurant Takeaway!