Bright future for High Peak pub which was on the brink of closing

A High Peak pub which was facing closure just months ago is looking ahead to a brighter future.

Friday, 11th March 2022, 3:20 pm

The future of the Fickle Mermaid in Chapel-en-le-Frith was under threat after plans were submitted to demolish the pub and replace it with a petrol station and drive-thru coffee shop. Documents supporting the application said the pub was not financially viable and would be closing anyway.

Members of High Peak Borough Council’s development and control committee voted against the plans in January, and now business has been booming at the Foresters Way pub.

Manager Courtney Swearing was drafted in by pub owner Marston’s to help the previous manager before lockdown. He then returned with his fiancée Ali White in May last year to take over the running of the venue.

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Manager Courtney Swearing and partner Ali White have turned The Fickle Mermaid around in recent months

Ali said: “We knew the future of the pub was so uncertain, but Courtney did what he always does and turns pubs around and I’m so pleased his hard work has paid off.

“I know mud sticks and The Fallow Deer, the previous name for the pub, had a bad reputation and I think a lot of people thought The Fickle Mermaid was the same so it has been difficult to shake that attitude but I think Courtney has managed to do it.”

Since Courtney took over at the pub, the Fickle Mermaid now has a social media presence, something it did not have before, and it is also doing more for the community.

Ali said: “We’ve had stalls at the bottom of the garden and the place was rammed.

The Fickle Mermaid, Chapel

“We have been supporting other local businesses and they have been coming back into the pub to see what we are about.

“We are a family pub that serves food – we are not trying to be a fancy restaurant.

“We welcome dogs and they get a blanket and treats as they are part of the family too.”

Staffing levels have also increased at the pub from three to nine with recruitment still ongoing. The venue has also been staying open longer as well.

Ali added: “It’s been about getting back to basics and providing a good pub for the community with karaoke and steak nights and the things people want and I’m pleased to say The Fickle Mermaid is here to stay so come down and say hello.”

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