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Cheers! Upminster has borough’s first micropub – but don’t bring your mobile

PUBLISHED: 15:24 17 April 2015 | UPDATED: 17:18 20 April 2015

The building that will become Upminster Tap Room. Picture: Google Maps

The building that will become Upminster Tap Room. Picture: Google Maps

Archant

Cask ale connoisseurs will be raising a glass after the borough’s first micropub was given the go ahead today.

Upminster Tap Room, a small building in Sunnyside Gardens near the junction with St Mary’s Lane, will offer a selection of local ales and bar snacks – but shun any form of electronic device.

During a licensing meeting at Havering Town Hall, co-owner Caroline Sheldon told councillors the venue will be built on a mix of “good ale and conversation” - and anyone caught using their phone will be fined £1.

“There’s no TV, music or electronic devices,” she said. “It’s a community thing where people can chat. The money from the fines will be donated to local community charities.”

Caroline and her partner, co-owner Robert Knowles, visited 60 of the 100 micropubs in the country to research the business.

The trend has caught on in recent years since Martyn Hillier opened The Butchers Arms in Kent in 2005, following a change in licensing law in 2003 which made it easier to open an independent public house.

“We don’t like the pubs of today,” said Caroline. “They offer you everything but nothing. People go in, find a chair and don’t speak to anyone.”

With no kitchen or hot food, the venue will rely on traditional bar snacks like locally-sourced pork scratchings and cold plates for hungry customers.

It will be staffed by three people, including an Upminster resident who is disabled and has never worked, and another who has been jobless for three years.

Licensing hours of 11am-11pm were approved despite objections from residents in Sunnyside Gardens who argued it would cause a public nuisance.

Neighbours feared noise and safety issues would be caused by the 60-capacity venue.

But the committee, chaired by Cllr Garry Pain, said due to the nearby shops, restaurants and petrol station, the micropub would not bring any added nuisance.

“This is the first micropub in Havering,” said Caroline. “We don’t know what the reception will be, but we’re thinking it will mainly be lunchtime trade.

“We don’t want people thinking it’s a night club, I wouldn’t want that in my road either.”

The opening day is pencilled in for the end of May.


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