No loud music, karaoke or pool...this will be a real ale pub

Essex County Standard: No loud music, karaoke or pool...this will be a real ale pub No loud music, karaoke or pool...this will be a real ale pub

Forget loud music, karaoke, pool and spirits Colchester’s latest pub venture is set to be just all about real ale.

Friends Barry Udale and Nigel Smithson are hoping to open Colchester’s first micro pub, specialising in real ales and ciders, which will be supplied from mostly local breweries.

There will be no spirits or lager served in the Barrack Street venture and the pair are promising that this will be a place for real ale lovers, where a range of about six ales and ciders will be regularly changed.

Mr Udale, 62, said: “Beer is it for me, I think it also about the company, real ale drinkers are good company and have always got something to say about it “The idea of the micropub, not to be confused with a micro-brewery, is to offer a quiet location which offers real ale lovers the chance to enjoy their passion for tasting and talking about different real ales and ciders, without having to compete with loud music, nosy party-goers, gambling machines and sometimes drunken behaviour often to be found in many busy town centre pubs.”

They believe between 20 and 30 people will be using the pub, which was formerly a motorcycle shop, during any one session.

It is aptly set to be called The Bikers’ Arms.

They have applied for a change of use and a licence to play music and serve alcohol.

See today's Gazette for the full story. 

Comments (19)

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5:59pm Mon 14 Apr 14

SOMETHING2SAY says...

"Nosy" party-goers ?? HaHa......Hic !
"Nosy" party-goers ?? HaHa......Hic ! SOMETHING2SAY
  • Score: 7

6:09pm Mon 14 Apr 14

Jess Jephcott says...

Hope they have some Carlsberg on for the GOLD set.
Hope they have some Carlsberg on for the GOLD set. Jess Jephcott
  • Score: -11

6:33pm Mon 14 Apr 14

Nevtyler says...

Won't last six months
Won't last six months Nevtyler
  • Score: -24

6:45pm Mon 14 Apr 14

Colonel Kurtz says...

Wish them well
Wish them well Colonel Kurtz
  • Score: 23

9:13pm Mon 14 Apr 14

DailyGazette says...

Pool is such an evil game.
Pool is such an evil game. DailyGazette
  • Score: 0

9:32pm Mon 14 Apr 14

BlueArmy01 says...

Interesting idea - We really are blessed with some Fantastic Real Ale Pubs here in Colchester but Footfall through the door will ultimately decide how successful it is - Micro or not! Best of Luck and I look forward to visiting!!
Interesting idea - We really are blessed with some Fantastic Real Ale Pubs here in Colchester but Footfall through the door will ultimately decide how successful it is - Micro or not! Best of Luck and I look forward to visiting!! BlueArmy01
  • Score: 10

10:00pm Mon 14 Apr 14

Noah4x4 says...

It sounds like a very similar formula to that which has made the superb Victoria Inn (CAMRA) "pub of the year" and "Cider pub of the year".

But I can't see Barrack Street being an ideal location unless enough locals support it as 'real ale' drinkers do need to get home without driving; and the distance from the Town Centre and hence access to buses to other parts of Colchester may be an important 'driver' (no pun intended). The Victoria Inn's favourable location (e.g. near both Town Centre and Rail Station) is probably a critical success factor for this type of niche designer 'real ale' pub.

Having a "no lager and no spirits" policy might also mean that some wives and girlfriends (or indeed husbands/boyfriends) of 'real ale' drinkers won't want to use the pub. This is not to say that there are not ladies that enjoy a pint (and many do); but those people that principally go out as "couples" where only one partner enjoys 'real ale' might avoid this new venture if it's range of alcohol is too restricted. But with the demise of so many pubs, all 'real ale' lovers will wish this venture well, and will add it to any 'crawl'. But as regards gaining 'regulars'; I suspect that it may face the above barriers to success........

.....or as the 'Biker Arms' is it perhaps going to be home to a motorcycle club and attract 'bikers' from all over the County? That may be its salvation?
It sounds like a very similar formula to that which has made the superb Victoria Inn (CAMRA) "pub of the year" and "Cider pub of the year". But I can't see Barrack Street being an ideal location unless enough locals support it as 'real ale' drinkers do need to get home without driving; and the distance from the Town Centre and hence access to buses to other parts of Colchester may be an important 'driver' (no pun intended). The Victoria Inn's favourable location (e.g. near both Town Centre and Rail Station) is probably a critical success factor for this type of niche designer 'real ale' pub. Having a "no lager and no spirits" policy might also mean that some wives and girlfriends (or indeed husbands/boyfriends) of 'real ale' drinkers won't want to use the pub. This is not to say that there are not ladies that enjoy a pint (and many do); but those people that principally go out as "couples" where only one partner enjoys 'real ale' might avoid this new venture if it's range of alcohol is too restricted. But with the demise of so many pubs, all 'real ale' lovers will wish this venture well, and will add it to any 'crawl'. But as regards gaining 'regulars'; I suspect that it may face the above barriers to success........ .....or as the 'Biker Arms' is it perhaps going to be home to a motorcycle club and attract 'bikers' from all over the County? That may be its salvation? Noah4x4
  • Score: 12

10:03pm Mon 14 Apr 14

SOMETHING2SAY says...

"Ideal location " ??? Its within staggering distance !! Hic!
"Ideal location " ??? Its within staggering distance !! Hic! SOMETHING2SAY
  • Score: 0

8:51am Tue 15 Apr 14

romantic says...

Sounds like something along the lines of the Odd One Out - but the Oddie also do spirits and (reluctantly, I think) lagers. Real ale pubs are definitely doing well now, and it's good to see, but as Noah says above, not having any lagers or spirits might make it tough to get in a younger crowd and partners. Old boys sipping halves of bitter might create an "old school" atmosphere, but beer is just about the least profitable thing sold in a pub. But I will certainly drop in and check it out.
Sounds like something along the lines of the Odd One Out - but the Oddie also do spirits and (reluctantly, I think) lagers. Real ale pubs are definitely doing well now, and it's good to see, but as Noah says above, not having any lagers or spirits might make it tough to get in a younger crowd and partners. Old boys sipping halves of bitter might create an "old school" atmosphere, but beer is just about the least profitable thing sold in a pub. But I will certainly drop in and check it out. romantic
  • Score: 5

10:16am Tue 15 Apr 14

Ritchie_Hicks says...

Good on them. It's certainly an expanding market. Wish them well.
Good on them. It's certainly an expanding market. Wish them well. Ritchie_Hicks
  • Score: 6

8:22pm Tue 15 Apr 14

A Very Private Gentleman says...

Yep I will have one with Barry long time no see since he was on the Council.

Good on you boy:
Yep I will have one with Barry long time no see since he was on the Council. Good on you boy: A Very Private Gentleman
  • Score: 1

9:21pm Tue 15 Apr 14

greenbroker says...

romantic wrote:
Sounds like something along the lines of the Odd One Out - but the Oddie also do spirits and (reluctantly, I think) lagers. Real ale pubs are definitely doing well now, and it's good to see, but as Noah says above, not having any lagers or spirits might make it tough to get in a younger crowd and partners. Old boys sipping halves of bitter might create an "old school" atmosphere, but beer is just about the least profitable thing sold in a pub. But I will certainly drop in and check it out.
romantic Why do you mention Old Boys sipping halves? I think that comment is most outdated.
[quote][p][bold]romantic[/bold] wrote: Sounds like something along the lines of the Odd One Out - but the Oddie also do spirits and (reluctantly, I think) lagers. Real ale pubs are definitely doing well now, and it's good to see, but as Noah says above, not having any lagers or spirits might make it tough to get in a younger crowd and partners. Old boys sipping halves of bitter might create an "old school" atmosphere, but beer is just about the least profitable thing sold in a pub. But I will certainly drop in and check it out.[/p][/quote]romantic Why do you mention Old Boys sipping halves? I think that comment is most outdated. greenbroker
  • Score: -1

10:46pm Tue 15 Apr 14

Boris says...

There are buses along Barrack Street so I don't see that transport home will be too much of a problem for most people.
No spirits seems a bit bizarre. What about all those people who after a couple of pints just want a whisky or two to round off the session?
No lager sounds a good move, it will keep out the riff-raff.
And best of all, it is far enough away from the Oddie and the Victoria so it should not have an adverse impact on them.
There are buses along Barrack Street so I don't see that transport home will be too much of a problem for most people. No spirits seems a bit bizarre. What about all those people who after a couple of pints just want a whisky or two to round off the session? No lager sounds a good move, it will keep out the riff-raff. And best of all, it is far enough away from the Oddie and the Victoria so it should not have an adverse impact on them. Boris
  • Score: 0

9:16am Wed 16 Apr 14

romantic says...

greenbroker wrote:
romantic wrote:
Sounds like something along the lines of the Odd One Out - but the Oddie also do spirits and (reluctantly, I think) lagers. Real ale pubs are definitely doing well now, and it's good to see, but as Noah says above, not having any lagers or spirits might make it tough to get in a younger crowd and partners. Old boys sipping halves of bitter might create an "old school" atmosphere, but beer is just about the least profitable thing sold in a pub. But I will certainly drop in and check it out.
romantic Why do you mention Old Boys sipping halves? I think that comment is most outdated.
I'm not having a go at old boys drinking halves - I'm an almost old boy myself, who drinks almost only real ales, so a real ale pub is good for me. Trouble is, my wife doesn't like ale or cider, and some of my mates like lager and spirits, so they probably wouldn't come with me. Plenty of youngsters and women drink real ale - but quite a lot don't.

My point is that the bigger profits for pubs are in the things like spirits, soft drinks, wines, lagers. There are a growing number of places around town which specialise in real ale, but all of them also have the option there for these other drinks. A pub is a business like any other and has to make enough to cover not just the beer and VAT, but business rates, gas, electricity, staff costs etc. I am sure they have worked out the figures, and will make a good go of it, but I think they will eventually decide that maybe having a lager, some soft drinks and a few spirits available makes sense, as it means a lot more people will be inclined to come in and stay longer.
[quote][p][bold]greenbroker[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]romantic[/bold] wrote: Sounds like something along the lines of the Odd One Out - but the Oddie also do spirits and (reluctantly, I think) lagers. Real ale pubs are definitely doing well now, and it's good to see, but as Noah says above, not having any lagers or spirits might make it tough to get in a younger crowd and partners. Old boys sipping halves of bitter might create an "old school" atmosphere, but beer is just about the least profitable thing sold in a pub. But I will certainly drop in and check it out.[/p][/quote]romantic Why do you mention Old Boys sipping halves? I think that comment is most outdated.[/p][/quote]I'm not having a go at old boys drinking halves - I'm an almost old boy myself, who drinks almost only real ales, so a real ale pub is good for me. Trouble is, my wife doesn't like ale or cider, and some of my mates like lager and spirits, so they probably wouldn't come with me. Plenty of youngsters and women drink real ale - but quite a lot don't. My point is that the bigger profits for pubs are in the things like spirits, soft drinks, wines, lagers. There are a growing number of places around town which specialise in real ale, but all of them also have the option there for these other drinks. A pub is a business like any other and has to make enough to cover not just the beer and VAT, but business rates, gas, electricity, staff costs etc. I am sure they have worked out the figures, and will make a good go of it, but I think they will eventually decide that maybe having a lager, some soft drinks and a few spirits available makes sense, as it means a lot more people will be inclined to come in and stay longer. romantic
  • Score: 1

1:49pm Wed 16 Apr 14

Smeggy says...

I was going to resist posting anything myself but have decided to add a little context to the debate as one of the two guys setting out on this venture. I will, however, stick to facts and let the rest of you decide your own opinions.
i) We are well aware that not selling lager and spirits will restrict our potential customer base but in all honesty that is exactly what we want to do - we are purposely striving to attract a particular genre of clientele.
ii) We are intending to supplement the beers and ciders with a small selection of wines and soft drinks for the ladies and nominated drivers.
iii) The size of the venue would not lend itself to a full-blown bar.
iv) We are not entering this as a full commercial venture; it is intended to be a hobby as real ale is our passion. We are not expecting to make a 'living wage' from the venture. This will also be reflected in the opening hours.

I hope this helps.
I was going to resist posting anything myself but have decided to add a little context to the debate as one of the two guys setting out on this venture. I will, however, stick to facts and let the rest of you decide your own opinions. i) We are well aware that not selling lager and spirits will restrict our potential customer base but in all honesty that is exactly what we want to do - we are purposely striving to attract a particular genre of clientele. ii) We are intending to supplement the beers and ciders with a small selection of wines and soft drinks for the ladies and nominated drivers. iii) The size of the venue would not lend itself to a full-blown bar. iv) We are not entering this as a full commercial venture; it is intended to be a hobby as real ale is our passion. We are not expecting to make a 'living wage' from the venture. This will also be reflected in the opening hours. I hope this helps. Smeggy
  • Score: 4

12:23am Thu 17 Apr 14

the mighty wah says...

Good luck with your new venture Smeggy.

Being local and enjoying real ale i will use your pub.

What hours do you intend to open?
Good luck with your new venture Smeggy. Being local and enjoying real ale i will use your pub. What hours do you intend to open? the mighty wah
  • Score: 2

11:40am Thu 17 Apr 14

Smeggy says...

the mighty wah wrote:
Good luck with your new venture Smeggy.

Being local and enjoying real ale i will use your pub.

What hours do you intend to open?
Hi Mighty Wah,
Thanks for your support.
If you refer to the original printed article you will find our proposed initial opening hours although these may be influenced by our change of use and licensing applications which we are hoping will be determined by the end of May.
Let us know your email address and we will keep you in the loop.
Best Regards.
[quote][p][bold]the mighty wah[/bold] wrote: Good luck with your new venture Smeggy. Being local and enjoying real ale i will use your pub. What hours do you intend to open?[/p][/quote]Hi Mighty Wah, Thanks for your support. If you refer to the original printed article you will find our proposed initial opening hours although these may be influenced by our change of use and licensing applications which we are hoping will be determined by the end of May. Let us know your email address and we will keep you in the loop. Best Regards. Smeggy
  • Score: 2

2:50pm Thu 17 Apr 14

the mighty wah says...

Smeggy wrote:
the mighty wah wrote:
Good luck with your new venture Smeggy.

Being local and enjoying real ale i will use your pub.

What hours do you intend to open?
Hi Mighty Wah,
Thanks for your support.
If you refer to the original printed article you will find our proposed initial opening hours although these may be influenced by our change of use and licensing applications which we are hoping will be determined by the end of May.
Let us know your email address and we will keep you in the loop.
Best Regards.
Cheers for your reply. Someone told me today that Motor Mania, down the road from you, is to become an Indian restaurant. If so I should imagine that will be my next port of call when I leave The Bikers arms.
Due to the advent of the internet I'm surprised Motor Mania has lasted as long as it has.
[quote][p][bold]Smeggy[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]the mighty wah[/bold] wrote: Good luck with your new venture Smeggy. Being local and enjoying real ale i will use your pub. What hours do you intend to open?[/p][/quote]Hi Mighty Wah, Thanks for your support. If you refer to the original printed article you will find our proposed initial opening hours although these may be influenced by our change of use and licensing applications which we are hoping will be determined by the end of May. Let us know your email address and we will keep you in the loop. Best Regards.[/p][/quote]Cheers for your reply. Someone told me today that Motor Mania, down the road from you, is to become an Indian restaurant. If so I should imagine that will be my next port of call when I leave The Bikers arms. Due to the advent of the internet I'm surprised Motor Mania has lasted as long as it has. the mighty wah
  • Score: 2

8:17am Sun 20 Apr 14

NolongerGREATBritain says...

I do hope this goes ahead it sounds perfect!
I do hope this goes ahead it sounds perfect! NolongerGREATBritain
  • Score: 3

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