SAFETY is the priority at Northwich Antiques Centre and Penny Farthing Tearoom and Terrace as they both prepare to reopen.

Based in the old Red Lion pub on Runcorn Road in Barnton since 2007, Jon Critchley took over the site in September last year and has been preparing to welcome back customers.

The business had to close its doors on March 23 as the lockdown came into force, but Jon has used this time wisely to complete a refurb, restock and install measures to aid social distancing.

Now, as the shop prepares to reopen on July 1, he explains how visitors will be kept safe as they search for a hidden gem or diamond in the rough.

“Since closing we’ve taken the opportunity to paint the entire centre, carry out some repairs and make essential upgrades,” he said.

Northwich Guardian:

“Being open seven days-a-week does limit us somewhat when some of these bigger jobs need doing, so we have used the time wisely.

“From July 1, we will be operating temporary reduced opening hours – 10am to 3pm – so our staff can perform a daily deep clean throughout the building.

“We will have screens up at both of our counters, new card machine terminals with a separate customer keypad and queueing guidelines.”

The Penny Farthing Tearoom and Terrace had also recently undergone a refurb and boasts a large outdoor seating area to ensure socially distanced dining.

Although under new management, the menu will remain much the same as before and offer afternoon teas, all day breakfasts, sandwiches, toasties and cakes.

But the tearoom will now be using better quality produce sourced locally to support neighbouring Cheshire businesses.

Northwich Guardian:

Free valuations for antiques will be held every Thursday, Friday and Saturday provided by Warrington and Northwich Auctions with temporary reduced hours, and any items put to auction will be transported for free to the auction house.

The antique centre is made up of over 50 independent antiques dealers and enthusiasts, and products sold include jewellery and silver, furniture, militaria, paintings and architectural salvage.

“We do our best to make sure there is something to interest everyone,” Jon added.

“Our dealers have been very supportive during these uncertain times, even though some have been shielding and stuck at home.

“We always have been and always will be dog friendly, so any well-behaved dogs are always welcome inside.

“We have a lovely team of people here who are always willing to help and we can’t wait to see all of our regular customers again soon.”