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Gloucestershire Business News

New micropub for Cheltenham planned by ‘Angry’ landlord

If your idea of the perfect pub is no wi-fi, no TV screens, no pre-recorded music and little by the way of food - with all attention focused on the beer - the following could be worth toasting.

A self-confessed very small pub company, but with a very big attitude towards how its establishment will be run, is planning to open a new business in Cheltenham.

The Angry Parrot Micropub Company Ltd has revealed ambitions to convert the currently empty former retail premises at 28 St James Street, near to the town centre.

Small it might be, but the prospective owner makes no bones about what the rules of the house will be for those stepping inside to enjoy a bar which promises locally sources ales.

No sports screens, pre-recorded music, wi-fi with a limited and well-defined selection of bar snacks, allowing for the occasional Sunday treat outlined below. Alien to some, no doubt, but sheer bliss to others.

"The plan is to convert the property from its existing A1 use to that of A4 use, for the sole purpose of trading as Cheltenham's first micropub," said Paul Cook, 47, who is from Longlevens, Gloucester, and is behind the plans for the 77 sq metres of space.

"No live or pre-recorded music, TV, events, gaming machines, WiFi or hot food other than bar snacks such as crisps, nuts and pickled eggs will be offered to customers.

"Plus, the occasional 'free cheese Sunday' to reward customer loyalty and support. Books and traditional pub games will also be available to customer.

"All real ales will be served traditionally straight from the cask. The garden to the rear of the property will be used as a beer garden - weather permitting and within a strict set of hours.

Business hours will initially be limited from 6pm to 10pm Wednesday to Friday, 12pm to 10pm Saturday and 12pm to 6pm on Sundays.

Mr Cook does not rule out applying for extensions to the licence, should the business decide to cater for events such as the Cheltenham Literature Festival, Cheltenham Jazz Festival and Cheltenham Race Week.

Should planners at the borough council give it the go-ahead there would be minimal alterations to the property, aside from paint and signage and CCTV.

"In conclusion the Angry Parrot will offer an interesting alternative to offerings already part of Cheltenham's night-time economy," said Mr Cook.

"Providing a safe and welcoming environment for both men and women over the age of 18. Promoting traditional ethics and values whilst its customers have a fun, enjoyable and enriching time.

"Strong efforts will be made to source real/craft ale from within a 30-50 mile radius of the pub, emphasising the need to support local breweries and producers.

"With a large majority of the furniture used in the refurbishment either being recycled, upcycled or obtained through freecycle or from charitable organisations or local suppliers/tradespeople."

According to the Royal Bank of Scotland in 2005, there was only one micropub in the UK. Today, that number has passed 620. It estimates the collective turnover estimated to be around £60m. And that was in March this year.

RBS credits the Licensing Act 2003 with" making it easier for individuals to obtain on-licences for previously unlicensed premises - often former one-room shops".

That coupled with "progressive beer duty, introduced in 2002, and the subsequent growth in microbreweries and craft beer also helped to create a climate in which micropubs could thrive".

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