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October, 2015

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No TV, loud music or wifi – just ale, cider and some lively conversation GLOUCESTER Road could be home to the city’s first ‘micropub’ – a back-to-basics venue, free from televisions, fruit machines, loud music and Wi-Fi. There won’t even be any tills. Real ales and ciders, conventional pub snacks and social interaction will be the only things on the menu at this small, independent free-house. Behind the venture are two Bishopston residents – Vince Crocker, owner of Ashley Down Brewery, and Garvan Hickey, who has had many years’ experience working in the hospitality industry. Plans to develop the alehouse, which would replace a former drapers store at the top end of Gloucester Road, have been submitted to the council. Now, the pair are calling on the public to support their plans. They say that the micropub – to be called ‘The Drapers Arms’ – will pride itself of a relaxed, intimate atmosphere, promoting lively conversation and shunning any electronic entertainment. With a capacity of around 40 people, the venue would be open in time for Christmas, should planning permission be awarded. Customers can expect real ales and farmhouse ciders straight from the cask – all sourced from small independent producers throughout Bristol and the surrounding area. Vince, who will be supplying a significant proportion of the beer, said: “There is a huge range of quality beers and ciders

Garvan Hickey (left) and Vince Crocker (right) available in the region and they are our greatest asset. “We intend to serve them up in an honest, no-nonsense fashion.” Garvan added: “We think a pub is only as good as the atmosphere created by its customers – we’ll do what we can to provide the background – but we’re relying on the good punters of Bishopston and Horfield, who enjoy a pint of real ale and lively conversation, to make the Drapers Arms a place that other people will want to go to.”

The Drapers Arms would be one of over 100 alehouses across the country, registered with the Micropub Association. Vince and Garvan say that introducing a micropub to the city compliments the rise in popularity of cask beers and independent local microbreweries – a wellestablished trend in and around Bristol. The pub is planning to open between 5-9.30pm, Monday to Friday, and all day, until 10pm, on Saturday. On Sundays, it will

initially open lunchtimes and evenings, but if it proves popular, it will open all day. For more information about The Drapers Arms, visit: www. thedrapersarms.co.uk, or email hello@thedrapersarms.co.uk. To also keep up to date with its progress, plans and opening date, like ‘The Drapers Arms, Bristol’ on Facebook. To view and comment on plans, visit: planningonline. bristol.gov.uk (planning reference 15/04292/F).

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