The Stonemasons Arms in Timperley reopens on Thursday – here’s how it has changed

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The new owner of The Stonemasons Arms in Timperley has called on local people to give the pub a chance as it gets ready for its second relaunch in a year this Thursday.

The Stockport Road pub has been given a complete facelift and will be reopened by Simon Delaney and wife Rachael – the award-winning owners of the Firbank Pub & Kitchen in Wythenshawe – having taken it over back in June.

The Greene King pub had been given a high-profile makeover last year by experienced restaurateurs Steve Pilling and Angus Cameron Pride, but it struggled to attract the punters, with many claiming it had become too much like a restaurant.

Delaney said he has turned it back into a proper pub and claimed “if this was my local I would be very, very happy”.

Simon Delaney and wife Rachael outside the award-winning Firbank in Wythenshawe

The latest reopening has been delayed by a couple of months by legal matters and building delays but customers will discover a completely changed pub.

It’s been redecorated throughout, with almost all new furniture and new carpet and curtains. A children’s play area has been added at the back and an outside seating area added for the first time at the front, with hanging baskets reintroduced. It’s also dog-friendly.

Inside, new features include a woodburner and three television screens for showing sport – but Delaney insisted it would retain a premium, family-orientated feel.

“I believe that at the moment this pub looks the best it’s ever looked,” he said. “We’re not downgrading as a restaurant, we’re just recategorising it. We’ve turned it back into a pub but it’ll be still be a great place for food, drink and customer service. We’ll still make people feel very welcome.

“They got it wrong before – if they’d made it clear it was a restaurant and not a pub it probably would have worked.

“We’re now a pub with style – it has a premium feel about it. It’s not what you would call a ‘boozer’. We’re a pub that can continue to serve this community.”

The pub is having a drinks-only opening evening on Thursday from 6pm, and will open properly for food and drink from noon on Friday. It will be open seven days a week from then on.

One of the most obvious changes will be the prices – the menu is “very affordable”, said Delaney, with a bottle of wine from £13 and a pint of cask ale from £2.80.

How the Stonemasons used to look after its first revamp last year

Beer will include Timothy Taylors, Robinsons’ Dizzy Blonde, Greene King IPA, Fosters, Heineken and Birra Moretti.

But he added: “It’s a pub where you can come in and just have coffee if you want – we’ll be serving fantastic coffee that’s cheaper than Costa – and you don’t have to come in and have a pint of lager.”

Over 20 staff have been recruited locally for the opening, and Delaney asked people to give him time to get it right.

“If this was my local I would be very, very happy, ” he added. “If anything goes wrong, let me know so I can deal with it.

“I’ve had 30 years in the business and I’m doing it my way. We’re drawing a line in the sand here. People are not my customers, they’re my guests. I want people to walk through the door and be my friends.”

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