"WE are back and open for business."

That is the message from the new landlady of a Weymouth town centre pub, which has reopened its doors to customers.

Hardy's Hophouse, in St Thomas Street, closed in September after the then landlord was unable to run the site due to staff shortages.

Now, one month on, the pub has its doors open again with a brand new landlady, Angie Nuttall, who moved over from Bournemouth to give the place a new lease of life, as well as give Weymouth a boost with the employment of a chef and three members of bar staff.

Angie, 43, said: "We've been going for a week and I'm so excited to be here to take on a new pub and give it a fresh start. This first week has been really quiet, unfortunately, but we are here and ready to go and keen to get some customers through the doors."

Dorset Echo: Hardy's HophouseHardy's Hophouse

Angie, a former nurse at a head and spinal injury unit in Boscombe, became a landlord five years ago and currently also runs the Elephant & Castle in West Moors.

Despite a challenging year and half during the pandemic, Angie is feeling positive about taking on a new challenge, although she has concerns that the hospitality industry will suffer if the government brings back stricter social distancing measures.

She said: "These last two years with Covid have been hard work, although the furlough scheme was excellent and meant all my staff could keep earning and I've been able to bring them all back which is great.

"I do feel a little bit nervous looking at the news - for Christmas to be cancelled for a second year in a row would be very difficult for the industry, but if we have to bring back table service and social distancing that should be fine.

"Hardy's Hophouse has loads of space and we can easily move tables to create even more room so customers do not need to feel worried when they come here."

Angie has lined up several musicians and bands to play live to entertain crowds, and is keen to meet some new people and make some friends after her move over from the east of the county.

She said: "We've got an Oasis tribute band playing this weekend and we've got a DJ and karaoke lined up for the Halloween weekend so everyone should come down, have a drink, have some food and have a great time."