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Plans to transform Herne Bay sites into micropub and live gig venue

Burgeoning publicans have revealed eye-catching plans to transform a vacant store into a tavern and open a live music venue in the centre of town.

Firm Bell & Beerling Pubs, run by brothers Max Bell and John Beerling, has taken on two sites in Herne Bay which it hopes to makeover.

An artist's impression of the planned micropub
An artist's impression of the planned micropub

The company wants to turn former nightclub Lyfe Lounge in William Street, which is set to be renamed, into a venue for rock, indie, jazz and folk bands to perform.

It has also launched a bid to convert Household Goods Bought & Sold in High Street, opposite Bargain Booze, into the third branch of its chain of The Pub Micropubs.

Mr Bell told KentOnline: “It’ll be perfectly grand for your traditional ale-drinking chap and sufficient for the younger crowd – we’ll make sure everyone feels welcome.

“Everyone’s rather enthusiastic about it. It’s of sufficient size, in a good location right on the high street, has a lovely frontage and the landlord was affable towards it.”

The plans for the site were submitted to Canterbury City Council earlier this month, and Mr Bell hopes for them to be given the go-ahead by June.

Max Bell stood outside Herne Bay venue Lyfe Lounge, which he and his brother are now running
Max Bell stood outside Herne Bay venue Lyfe Lounge, which he and his brother are now running

He says the bar will serve a variety of beers, wines and gins, with pints starting from £3.

While rules on the number of people allowed into pubs are expected to remain in place when coronavirus restrictions are relaxed, Mr Bell believes his alehouse will be profitable.

“Micropubs have the distinction that the overheads are extremely minimal, which means that even with a reduced capacity you can still open and pay your bills and staff,” he explained.

“While it may not be as lively as possible, it can open safely without it struggling before the end of the pandemic.”

Bell & Beerling Pubs also secured the lease for Lyfe Lounge in October.

Its November launch date was scuppered by Covid restrictions.

“It was offered to us and we thought we’d be stupid not to,” Mr Bell added.

“Previously, it was your standard dance and drum and bass nightclub, but we’re not really a fan of that. We’ll be doing quite a few different genres and have it as a live music venue.”

Read more: All the latest news from Herne Bay

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