The Scarisbrick Arms in Downholland, not to be confused with the Scarisbrick Hotel in Southport, was closed in July 2007, and people began to doubt that it would ever open again. Fortunately it was reopened in time for Christmas 2009 by Paul and Lainey, who have done great work with three Ormskirk pubs: the Queens Head, the Queen Inn, and the Railway, and who have also recently acquired the Roper's Arms, also in Ormskirk, a Burtonwood house many years ago, if memory serves me right.
The Scarisbrick is a large, imposing, red brick pub next to a bridge over the Leeds-Liverpool canal, and is a familiar landmark on the road between Southport and Maghull. It has been extensively renovated and decorated in light colours and has an emphasis on good value food. The kitchen and the restaurant have been swapped around so that the restaurant now overlooks the canal. There are plans to open a B&B and build a function room.
At the time of our midweek visit, there were two cask beers on, both from Moorhouses: Paulainey’s, the house beer, and Pride of Pendle, with another Moorhouses pump clip turned in. Sadly, as I was driving, there wasn't much opportunity to sample the beers. They also get guest beers from George Wright (Rainford), Southport, and Spitting Feathers (Cheshire). The pub has a canal-side garden, nice for warm days and suitable for children.
Finding it: the corner of the the A5147 and Black-a-Moor Lane. It's on a Southport to Liverpool bus route. Postcode: L39 7HX.