TWO couples have realised their dream of creating a return to the traditional ale house with the opening of Brighton and Hove’s first micropub.
Rick and Ruth Evans and Dave and Ali White are raising a glass in celebration on the eve of the opening of The Watchmaker’s Arms – fittingly on time.
Drinkers looking for a pub offering local ales and ciders and a place to socialise can head to the micropub in Goldstone Villas, Hove, from 5pm today.
The micropub landlords are hopeful that many more in the city will be inspired to follow in their footsteps.
The quartet have been working for more than a year to realise their dream after being inspired by the micropubs of Kent but suffered a setback at the end of 2014 when proposals for their first site in Richardson Road fell through.
The team bounced right back and it’s been plain sailing at their second site – converting a former electronics store a stone’s throw’s away from Hove Railway Station in little more than two months.
In total the quartet, who will have their two grown-up sons to help them behind the bar, have invested £36,000 to realise their dream including £20,000 on making over the building, legal fees and training courses.
The name of the pub, which has capacity for up to 60 customers, follows a research session at The Keep records centre where the quartet discovered the building was once a watchmakers.
Mr Evans said that the micropub will stock the best from local breweries including Brighton Bier, Downlands Brewery in Small Dole, Top Notch Brewing Company in Haywards Heath, Brighton’s Pin-Up Brewing and Lower Beeding’s Kissingate as well as cider from Bolney-based Wobblegate.
He said: “The building was perfect. It’s just the right size and has two toilets and two sinks which is unusual. We thought we would have to install an extra toilet.
“Other businesses in the parade have been supportive. We didn’t have that at our previous site.
“We hope to attract people who are looking for something different from other pubs – somewhere they can have a quiet drink and a conversation.
“It’s a throwback to the old-fashioned ale house.
“We went to Kent where there’s a micropub about every three miles and thought what a great idea for Hove so I’m sure other people will get the same inspiration and realise they can do this for themselves, that it is relatively straightforward and can be done on a tight budget.”
For more information, visit facebook.com/thewatchmakersarms