So Rockingham Tap was open – May 2019 – and had been a massive success for us. Hard work – without a doubt. Issues – again, yes – but nothing that we hadn’t been able to overcome. It was time to find number two outlet for our burgeoning empire!
I mentioned this to Phil Gorilla (I think I might refer to us like this from now on!) who I am sure thought I was daft but as usual humoured me (this is part of why he’s such a good mate – he never tells me any ideas are rubbish, just keeps on encouraging!) and we started looking.
We went to Bawtry – for those of you that don’t know it – a very posh part of Doncaster but decided that the rental was huge – too huge for us.
We looked at Wickersley but soon found out that local council planning rules have ruled out any new bars coming into the area as they feel they have enough already. This was a real shame as we were very keen to open something there.
We looked at Rotherham. For all of 5 seconds. It’s a shame but the once thriving drinking scene the town had has disappeared and in the words of a Bruce Springsteen song ‘it aint coming back’.
Sheffield was mooted as a possibility and we spent endless hours on Ecclesall Road – and not all of it enjoying ourselves before you say anything….! We may have called into ‘Lost & Found’ but purely for business purposes I add. We also thought about Banner Cross to the North of ‘Eccy Road’ and close to the new Wildcard Bar & Grill venue but in the end just decided we couldn’t quite find what we wanted, when one night my Mrs stumbled across what would become Venue Two just browsing the internet.
Knaresborough Railway Station. Grade II listed. Built in 1851. Entry is via a viaduct over the River Nidd and exit is via a tunnel at the other end of the platform. The façade of both Platforms is Victorian and still retains its charm from that period. In fact, think of Hercule Poirot and The Orient Express and you conjure up the image – just with less murders we hope..!
This was it – Venue Number Two! We soon engaged Northern Rail (the Landlord) in conversation who in turn spoke to Network Rail (the Superior Landlord) – keep up – and before you knew it we had entered our business plan to try to secure the premises (against 4 other businesses who also wanted the unit).
We were chosen as their ‘preferred bidder’ and we entered the process. That was January 2020. Anyone who has ever undertook gaining Listed Building Consent will know that it ranks just behind root canal surgery in appeal, but we eventually got through that in October 2020.
We are now waiting for final Network Rail sign off and hope to be in early 2021.
The new name?