We were hoping to be open by the end of August but external forces made that completely unrealistic. If you are a local, a regular, a previous customer or just interested to know what’s going on, I think it’s time to give you a bit more information.
As you may know, when we acquired the pub we were not able to take possession of all of the assets that had formerly comprised the property. This is because the former owner obtained planning permission to build a house on the car park and has sold that part of the property separately. This means that we will have to use part of the beer garden to make a new car park and it also means that the existing storage is not ours.
Once bitten, we’re reluctant to give another opening date until we can be confident it’s at least in the right zone but we’re now making rapid progress on a lot of stuff. As the COVID–19 mediated shortage of lumber means we won’t have our permanent storage for several months, we’re now relying on getting the new car park in place and using a small portion of it for temporary storage.
Several issues have arisen as a consequence of the reduced land and storage available and we have been working hard to resolve these. Storage has been a significant problem but we have a way forward with that, now. While lack of storage may not sound like a show-stopper, it has presented us with a series of hurdles we have to leap before we can open. And we have been constrained in the ways in which we can deal with them because of the way in which planning permission has been granted. One requirement on the way to getting storage in place is that we must move our LPG tank. Although we are now working to bypass this obstacle, at least for now, it has in itself proven more time-consuming and expensive than you might imagine and the gas supplier (and tank owner) has still not provided information we need or a date for completing the work.
While working on storage and other pressing matters, we have been trying to bring the kitchen into the 21st century. Cooking with flames is not just prehistorically old-fashioned – in a commercial environment, it tends to be uncomfortably hot, wasteful and environmentally unfriendly. The equipment we plan to use requires 3-phase electricity and, accordingly, we performed the normal check to make sure that we did have a 3-phase supply in place. This check is the dead-easy one that electricity boards tell you to do: you have a look at the board where the consumer unit is installed to see how many of the big, chunky 100A fuses there are. If there’s one fuse, you have a single-phase supply and if there are three, you have a 3-phase supply.
Our check revealed that, thankfully, we have a 3-phase supply and, accordingly we took delivery of 3-phase cooking equipment. Unfortunately, when the electrician arrived, he had a look at the board and said, “That’s funny – you do have 3 fuses but only 2 of them are connected”. So we don’t have a 3-phase supply. We are now doing everything we can to check whether we can get a 3-phase supply of electricity and, importantly, whether it is commercially viable to do so. It is possible that we may be able to cobble together some basic equipment that will enable us to provide a very limited – but mouth-watering – menu and we’ll continue to work on that in parallel with other issues.
I don’t propose to burden you with any more of the obstacles we are facing, at the moment. I do feel, though, that it’s important you should know there is nothing we want more than to get the doors open, to welcome you in and to serve you the delicious food and drink you’ve been waiting for!
Please come back for updates – we’ll let you have our re-opening date as soon as we can.