It's just over 10 years since we first got into the beer trade when we bought a pub. It's just over 4 years since we sold the pub to concentrate on growing Hardknott Brewery. There are many things I don't miss about running a pub, and some I do miss. We learnt a lot in our 6 years there, made lots of new friends. It would be a bit of a shame that some of the things we learnt and the ideas we have had are not used again for our own outlet. In any case, the one thing I really miss from the days of having a pub is the chance to drink my own beer, when I want, and have exactly the beers on the bar I like.
So it is with some pleasure, and an equal amount of trepidation, that we have agreed to take on a small space on Millom station. Formally a café, and before that an Indian Takeaway and even earlier, I'm told, some sort of restaurant. Well now we're going to make it into a beer bar, all being well.
We have been holding off announcing it for fear that it might not happen. However, as we have had to announce it publicly for various legal reasons it is now in the public domain. So, we might as well let the world know our plans.
We are not sure when it'll open. We're sort of hoping we'll have it up and running for Easter, but that might be a bit of a push from the premises licence point of view. We've also got to get change of use planning permission. In the mean time a coat of paint, new lighting, bar and cellar fit out, signage, furniture, bottle coolers, glasses, choosing things like wine and spirits selection1. Lots to do and very likely not enough time to do it all in.
What I can promise is a bar that is done our way. It'll take all the things I like from all the places I've visited and cherry-pick the best. I'm looking forward to it, I think.
I'm hoping this won't be the only Hardknott bar, but we do have to learn to walk before we can run.
Wish us luck!
You can find out up-to-the-minute news by following @HardknottOnTrak
1Yes, I know, it's going to be a beer bar, but apparently there are still people out there that don't like beer. Tsk. Although to be fair, I don't mind a bit of rancid grape juice myself, when no one's looking. And I'm not afraid to admit to an occasional nip of single malt.