EAT & DRINK
The modest burgundy shop front is almost intentionally creating a sense of intrigue as to what may lie within. Open the door and you are still a little unsure, one thing you do know is that you feel like you have just stepped back in time, in fact you may even consider having a quick look over your shoulder before closing the door to make sure there are still cars and not carriages in the street. The creaking floorboards, low lighting and mixture of pungent odours overload your senses. Taking a look around you begin to make sense of where you are, an imposing oak bar stands proudly in centre view, propped up by a couple of locals who have clearly dropped in after work for a swift half. The walls are adorned with traditional mirrors, local pictures, funny signs and hanging chalk boards. It is remarkably quiet with just a small group of friends chewing the fat on benches and stools by the window, enjoying an array of beers, ciders and wine. Yes that’s right, wine! The Butchers Dog is one of very few micropubs in the area to have a comprehensive wine list. This is in most part down to the fact that this quirky little drinking hole is the creation of a 25 year old local woman, Natalie Briglin. I told you it was going to be full of surprises! Natalie founded The Butchers Dog in September of last year after seeing that the big brewery pubs she had worked for were struggling and had seen the emerging trend of micropubs in other parts of the country. “We just felt that people in Driffield didn’t really have a place to go for traditional ale, as the majority of the larger chains only offer lager or standard bitters”. The décor inside is a real eclectic mix of the old and new with the bar itself actually purchased from a pub in Somerset via Ebay. Natalie says, “When we got it back, it was very tatty and the only part we could salvage was the panelling, which is supported by shelving and brackets made from my uncles decking and fence. In all honesty there isn’t anything that is new in here, it’s mainly old tat that has been reclaimed and reused or as my dad calls it ‘up-cycling’”. The bar is by no means the only piece of second hand furniture in the pub with the lights, signs and a range of ornaments a top the bar which have been donated by patrons. This sense of community is
really important to Natalie, “it’s nice because it is almost like they have taken a little bit of ownership for the pub”. This theme of community is evident as you see couples, friends and even families socialising with one another. The real difference you see with Butchers Dog compared to your standard chain pub is the quirky little offerings such as the tapas trays, which are three one third pint glasses on a wooden tray, allowing you to sample a variety of ales or ciders before committing to your favourite. The suppliers Natalie works with are primarily local with Wold Top, Great Newsome, Brass Castle, Atom and Moorlands an ever present feature. “The result is we get a great variety of beers, whilst still supporting the local economy and the locals certainly enjoy it”. The key according to Natalie, is doing the basics well and that is emphasised in everything from the décor and layout, to the beers and pork pies. “It is all about sourcing as much as you can from trusted local suppliers and not spending too much money on things that could potentially take away from the culture of the pub, for example we don’t have TVs, WIFI, music or fruit bandits, because it just goes against what we are about and I think people like that”. Natalie has seen the business go from strength to strength with the pub now seeing a regular compliment of customers and takings well above her expectations, “I originally had just hoped to pay my wages so to be able to employ staff and start to build the brand with takeaway beers, t shirts and meet the brewer nights at such an early stage is fantastic”. The Butchers Dog is another example of a thriving small business that at its core is simply about following a passion, identifying a gap in the market and having the guts to take a risk, you simply don’t have to know everything about everything in order to start. I’m a big believer that imperfections create character, a sense of originality and honesty, with The Butchers Dog you know they are not hiding any scrapes or scars, instead they choose to embrace them as key features of their personality. No luxuries, no modern touches, just a good old fashioned English pub for people to congregate, socialise and enjoy a drink together.
“The name is a quirky combination of the shop being a former Butchers and our dalmatian dog Peppa”
Issue 004 | LOCO. MAGAZINE | 23