There’s no denying that pubs and restaurants are one of the very worst hit by the current situation, but some business owners and landlords are responding in brilliant ways.
One of those is The Black Horse in Aylestone who are spreading a little happiness and keeping their community entertained at this difficult time!
Alan Merryweather and Sarah Cunnington, business owners of The Black Horse in Aylestone were stranded in Tenerife as the coronavirus outbreak caused flights to be cancelled and travellers to be left miles from home. Arriving back on home turf they knew they wanted to do something different to keep the community engaged.
The Black Horse is a popular pub, knew for its fantastic programme of entertainment, including a Sunday Bike Ride Club, quiz nights and a Cheese Club, not to mention a great array of comedy on upstairs at the Laughter Loft. It’s also known for its fun and friendly landlord and landlady, so it didn’t surprise its many regulars when their favourite pub decided to keep the fun going through the many virtual events they have hosted since The Black Horse temporarily closed its doors.
“We love spending time with our customers and seeing everyone together having a good time and we think it’s important to keep spirits up and bring the community together as a pub does. So, we set out to continue to bring people together, keep the fun going and put a simile on people’s faces at this difficult time, by taking our pub online.” shares Alan
Alan and Sarah have been busy organising and hosting virtual pub quizzes, supporting local comedians through virtual comedy shows, jam nights and a book club. And it’s not only their customers that are joining them, they are seeing people from all over the country joining them for a little bit of fun.
“This virtual world is all new to us. We are learning as we go along and improving with every event we host, but we have been overwhelmed at the response to our events and the messages of support and encouragement we have received. It’s just amazing to see so many people getting involved. We miss being on the other side of the bar and this has really helped us too!” say Sarah.
You can even join Alan and Sarah online every Friday for ‘Lunch with the Landlord’ where they invite you to meet them at the virtual pub for a good old chat. And they continue to explore and try new ideas, as they announced yesterday that they will be hosting an online music festival on St Georges Day, featuring live musicians throughout the day.
“We would like to thank our loyal customers and community, who have supported us over the nine years we have been at the pub. Aylestone has a great community vibe and we are happy we are able to give a little something back at this time.” says Alan.
We are seeing so many pubs adapting to this challenging time and remaining at the heart of their communities and Alan and Sarah are doing a fantastic job of keeping their community entertained.
The Black Horse is also supporting their community by sourcing food boxes, so people don’t need to head to the large supermarkets and hosting a food bank in their garden on Wednesday’s 11am-1pm with The Emerald Centre for people who are struggling to get provisions.
Alan and Sarah also help co-ordinate ‘Aylestone Help and Support Network’, a Facebook group set up to support people in the Aylestone community, whether that be helping with shopping or just being there for a chat.
“We can’t wait to open our doors again, but for now we will continue to support our community in the way we know how, by bringing a little happiness to their day and remaining the hub of the community, where people can ask for help and join us for a chat!” Said Alan.
You can find out what’s on at The Black Horse and more about the support they are providing to the local community on their Facebook page facebook.com/blackhorsele2 or website www.blackhorseaylestone.co.uk.