Hog heaven at garden centre Bikers BBQ

The Willows Garden ?Centre at Glentham is enjoying a boost to business thanks to its monthly Bikers barbecues.

Owner David Nelstrop, from Lissington, says he does not know of any other garden centre that hosts such an event, which often sees more than 100 motorbikes helping fill his 280-space car park.

David says the bikers approached him about hosting barbecues after becoming regular visitors to his ?2 million garden centre and restaurant, which opened 15 months ago.

?We thought we would give it a go. We started on May 14 and we will hold them every second Wednesday of the month during British Summer Time,? he said.

?They turn up with their leathers and Harleys. Bikers are just as likely to have a cappuccino and cake as they will a hot dog.?

The garden centre closes at 5pm but the restaurant stays open for the 7pm barbecues.

?We find we have quite a few motorists come in their cars to look at the bikes. We have families coming along too to see the bikes. It really surprised us how many non-bikers come to the barbecues,? he said.

Around 130 bikes are usually on show, with the riders mostly from Lincolnshire and Yorkshire, and the barbecue being the end to a good day of biking through the Lincolnshire Wolds.

?I do not know of any garden centre that does this. We also do fish and chips on a Friday, which is proving popular,? he said.

Such events at the garden centre add to a successful 15 months of trading at the former Cherry Tree Farm site.

The garden centre also features four shops: Blossoms hairdresser, Rasen Pet Shop, Catkins Ladies Accessories and Lifestyle Homeware. There is also an in-house deli, plus a function room for parties, weddings and conferences.

In the New Year, work will start on a ?1 million log cabin and static caravan site with ten log cabins, 17 static caravans and a private fishing lake amid landscaped surroundings. The expansion should add to the 35 local people already employed, who David says are ?second to none. Business is very good and we soon built a very good reputation for our food?and people travel to us a long way,? he said.

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