CHESHIRE Cheese is full of history – 240 years of history!

Janice Oxley took over behind the pumps in 2020 just before Covid-19 hit.

Here in our new feature – Meet The Landlord / Landlady – Janice tells us how she started working in a bar – something she never actually intended – and what it was like winning one of our Best of 2023 awards last year.

If you want to be featured in Meet The Landlord / Landlady, appear as our Business of the Week or be in one of our Food and Drink features email

Meet The Landlady - Cheshire Cheeses Janice Oxley

Meet The Landlady - Cheshire Cheese's Janice Oxley

What’s your name?

Janice Oxley

How old are you?

I’m 62

What is the name and location of your pub / bar?

Cheshire Cheese in Middlewich

The venue has recently been renovated

The venue has recently been renovated

What is your job title?

My role is landlady

How long have you been in the pub / bar industry?

I started doing bar work in 2017 when I took over at The White Horse before it changed to offices in 2018.

Tell me a bit about how you came to be a landlady of your pub

I never dreamt of running a bar - I always wanted a BnB by the sea! A friend of mine ran The White Horse but with his work commitments he was giving it up. So, I took it on knowing nothing about how to run it. A good friend of mine helped me and once it closed to become offices I’d caught the bug and wanted to run another one. I ran the Turnpike in Middlewich, which was more of a family fun pub, and I ran that for 12 months. Then it changed to a big food pub so I move out and worked behind a few bars in Middlewich. Then in 2020, I got offered the Cheshire Cheese.

The Cheshire Cheese in Middlewich dates back 240 years

The Cheshire Cheese in Middlewich dates back 240 years

What sets your pub / bar out from the crowd?

The Cheshire Cheese started as a pub in 1783 and it has a lot of history. There was a cottage at the side which is now part of the pub. The beer garden used to be the car park with cobbled stone and the kitchen was only put in a few years after it became a pub.

What do customers like about your pub / bar?

Our customers love the atmosphere in the bar and the friendliness of the bar staff. They love the real ales, a good pint and the log burner - we used to have an open fire but since the refurb last year we now have a log burner.

What is your proudest career moment to date?

My proudest achievement was winning Pub of the Year 2023 with the Northwich and Winsford Guardian. Since I opened the Cheese - just before Covid hit in 2020 - it’s been very challenging and I nearly handed it back in November 2020 as I lost so much money. But I stuck it out and it’s starting to thrive again.

The popular beer garden which used to be a cobbled stone car park

The popular beer garden which used to be a cobbled stone car park

What is your top tipple?

Wine and wine rum and coke – I need it!

What is your favourite local place to go for a drink and why?

To be honest I don’t go out drinking much if I have a drink it’s usually at home, at Cheshire Cheese or The Little Man in Winsford, which is my second pub that I run with my partner.

What’s your career ambition?

My ambition is to keep doing what I’m doing and keep my wonderful staff and customers happy for many more years.