An old barber’s shop in Wye is to be given a new lease of life .... as a micropub.
Cabinet maker Graham Austen corris converting the empty hair salon at Bridge Street, formerly Smiles Hairdressing, to create a new pub called the Barbers Arms.
The premises was granted a licence in February, and permission for change of use to a ‘micropub’ was granted last month.
Soundproofing has already been installed in the building to alleviate concerns about noise from immediate neighbours, although Mr Austen said he only intended to play some background music on an iPod.
He felt Wye was the perfect location for the micropub, a relatively new concept that originated in Kent after a tiny, one-room pub called the Butcher’s Arms was set up at Herne in 2005.
Mr Austen said: “Wye’s got the infrastructure there as people can get there by train, by car or by cycling.
“Wye’s got three pubs at the moment, but my market is a much different market.
‘They all do food, but I’m just doing beers, real ales, local ciders, white wine, red wine and maybe some roasted monkey nuts.
“It’s for people to come along and try a real ale that can come from anywhere in the country. I will be supporting local real ales too, but I also want to pick ales from some of the other 1,000 microbreweries across the UK.”
Although his background has principally been in the building trade, Mr Austen has helped to manage beer festivals at pubs including the Farriers Arms at Mersham, the Bowl at Charing and the Flying Horses at Boughton Aluph.
He hopes to be able to open the micropub within three weeks.
For more information, email Mr Austen at firstname.lastname@example.org