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'A short back and pints, please'

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Barber Joseph Lanzante, left, Roger Ryman, of St Austell Brewery, and landlord Malcolm Putko, right, at the Western Inn (Wild Card PR/PA)

Barber Joseph Lanzante, left, Roger Ryman, of St Austell Brewery, and landlord Malcolm Putko, right, at the Western Inn (Wild Card PR/PA)

Barber Joseph Lanzante, left, Roger Ryman, of St Austell Brewery, and landlord Malcolm Putko, right, at the Western Inn (Wild Card PR/PA)

A pint of lager ... and a short, back and sides please, landlord.

This is not what you would usually expect to hear a punter say to a barman at your local pub.

But for one Cornish alehouse it has become reality - with a barbershop opening at the bar.

The hair-raising idea was thought up by Malcolm Putko, landlord of the Western Inn, in St Austell, who also owns Ronnie's Barber Shop in the town with his partner Lucy Laughton. The pub-turned-barbershop, which will also offer shoe shines and wet shaves, is thought to be only the second of its kind in the country.

Mr Putko said: "We thought this would be a novel way of boosting day time trade whilst also combining two of men's most important pastimes - getting a haircut and enjoying a pint. We're absolutely thrilled with how the barber shop looks. Seeing really is believing - think Sweeney Todd-cum-Harry Potter. We're taking this theme across the pub offering by also serving themed food including Feet and Potato pies."

The owners of the pub, the St Austell Brewery, have also backed the initiative.

Trade marketing manager Marc Bishop said: "We always try to encourage our landlords to think of creative ways in which they can generate trade. The Western Inn's idea is a great example of a pub branching out and using their premise and facilities to build trade from other areas, beyond just food and drink."

The brewery's head brewer Roger Ryman took a seat in one of the barber's three chairs for a shave by barber Joseph Lanzante, who has been training the pub staff.

Mr Putko hopes to introduce "Barrister in the Bar" later in the year, with a local solicitor coming in to offer employment advice.

Ronnie's "The Barber in the Bar" is open 9am to 5pm Monday to Saturday. On Thursday and Friday it is open until 7pm.

PA Media