We have the keys

 …and the wheels are in motion!

Since leaving work a year ago I have been working on plans to open a pub that sells only beer from micro-breweries (a micro-pub). No global brands, no hot food, no loud music, no sports TV, gaming machines or karaoke: just local ales poured straight from the cask.

We had several false starts trying to find premises, but in the meantime I went on a cellarkeeping course, obtained my alcohol licence and volunteered at several beer festivals as well as spending practically every spare weekend visiting other micro-pubs, empty properties and prospective neighbourhoods…plus sampling lots and lots of beer (purely for research purposes).

From the start we had our eyes on Urmston which is easy to reach on the train from Manchester city centre plus has a busy high street full of independent shops and a prosperous catchment area. We seriously considered several properties there, but it’s only in the past few weeks that the right one became available. We’ve paid a deposit, we have the keys and we’ve sent off the licence application and planning permission paperwork.

The wheels of bureaucracy grind slowly and it will be July at the earliest before we actually start the refurbishment, but with a bit of luck we’ll be opening in August. We’re calling it the Prairie Schooner Taphouse after the wagons covered in sailcloth which crossed America in pioneer days.

We’ll have a website soon, but you can also track our progress by liking our new Facebook page, while I will also try to continue updating this page with some of technical aspects involved in setting up our operation which we hope is of interest to other potential micropub owners.

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9 Responses to We have the keys

  1. Dimpled Mug says:

    Hi Guys,
    best of luck with the new venture.
    I’m not to far away in Irlam – so will pay a visit when you open.
    I’ve been looking for suitable premises myself, I’ve got a long way to go and it looks a daunting prospect.
    cheers
    martin.

  2. Thanks for getting in touch. Rents and rates around Manchester are high and we had to scout out a lot of neighbourhoods and properties to reach this stage. Good luck with things!

  3. mlholding says:

    That’s amazing news.
    I’m hoping to open a micropub in Manchester too (on the other side to you). I’ll stay in touch. Can’t wait to come down for a drink at yours ,
    Michelle

  4. Paul Allen says:

    Good luck I am working on opening in Altrincham, have found premises just waiting for Landlords decision if not sucessfull have eyes on a place in Sale

  5. Chris Ashley says:

    Hi, I’ve loved reading your blogs, and also seeing your progress. We are at a similar stage to this blog currently over in Oldham area.
    I have one question as we are having some fun and games with the planning department! How did you go about applying for planning? Did you change to an A4? Any info would be greatly appreciated.

    • Good to hear from you and good luck with your venture! Your local planning authority should be happy to answer any basic questions you may have over the phone and a few will even provide ‘pre-planning’ advice and review your application for free. The planning paperwork can be found on the national Planning Portal website which is also a good resource when searching for planning applications made by other micropubs (you’ll need to know the postcode). And yes, you will need to change to class A4.

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