WITH a social media post going viral after the launch of a new family restaurant, the business became so busy that there were queues out the door and they eventually ran out of food.

It was a whirlwind start to the business for Xavier and Ewelina Bastian, as the 'Mcr Finest' post inspired dozens of hungry customers to try the ‘Gatehouse Ale and Aloo', the North West's first Indian gastropub located on Cherington Drive in Tyldesley.

While the family quickly got used to the pace of the pub, the business has continued to improve as people from all over the North West have come to try the restaurant's fusion of Indian and English meals and its intriguing selection of tapas-style small plates.

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Leigh Journal: A selection of Ale and Aloo's small plate menuA selection of Ale and Aloo's small plate menu (Image: Ale and Aloo)
With head chef Xavier spending more than two decades working for renowned Indian restaurant Asha's - which included opening chains across the world - he and Ewelina wanted to use this wealth of experience to find a new challenge.

Aware of Indian gastropubs in London and Birmingham, the couple decided to bring the concept to the North West, with the main goal of offering a unique menu while retaining the community feel of a local pub.

Coming across the Gatehouse pub in Tyldesley, the couple felt it was the perfect spot as part of a local community but not too far away from the city centre. So, after a cosy and colourful refurb, Ale and Aloo officially launched in early September.

Leigh Journal: The Gatehouse had a colourful refurbThe Gatehouse had a colourful refurb (Image: Leigh Journal)
Speaking about the businesses launch, Ewelina said: "We were fairly busy after opening but after that social media post, it was crazy. I think because we are so unique and different, people wanted to see what it was all about.

"We did have some negativity at the beginning because we were changing how a pub can operate. But I think we have proven a lot of these people wrong and many of them are now coming in and loving it!

"One of our main goals is to change the perception of what a pub can be. We want to keep that traditional, cosy pub vibe but reinvent it so people also feel comfortable coming for a unique meal without the pressure of dressing up."

Leigh Journal: There are also a range of traditional curries on offerThere are also a range of traditional curries on offer (Image: Ale and Aloo)
As customers have continued to visit the Gatehouse as the months have passed, this shows that the concept is not just a fad and Xavier said that there has been "very positive feedback" to their menu.

With a range of traditional curries and English pub favourites on offer, there is also a small plate fusion such as chicken tikka bon bons, lamb tacos, potato and onion bhajis, kheema loaded fries, tandoori chicken wings and even a tandoori Sunday roast special.

The family are also keen on keeping the menu as fresh as possible and are eager to listen to customer's suggestions to update their options and try new things.

With a pool table and darts board inside the dog-friendly pub, there are also plans to expand with outdoor seating and a BBQ menu and Aperol Spritz bar in the warmer months.

Leigh Journal: A tandoori Sunday Roast special at Ale and AlooA tandoori Sunday Roast special at Ale and Aloo (Image: Ale and Aloo)
Adding his thoughts on the business' first six months in Tyldesley, Xavier said: "We thought we would have a slow start and then gradually build up momentum, so we never expected for it to be like this from the beginning.

"We've had very positive feedback with our small plates and I'm confident that the classic preparation of our curries means that they are something people will not have tried before.

"It has been a hectic six months but I think it shows we're doing something right!"

Leigh Journal: Ale and Aloo is based in the former Gatehouse pub in TyldesleyAle and Aloo is based in the former Gatehouse pub in Tyldesley (Image: Leigh Journal)