Celebrations have been held at Artisan Tap, the newest pub concept to hit the High Street in Bedford, during a VIP launch.
The much loved listed building, the former Bear pub, has a new look which offers the architectural and design features of a traditional pub, with the comforts and style of a modern venue, to welcome the next generation of pub-goers.
A live acoustic performance set the tone for the evening on Thursday, December 10, as guests were treated to samples from the extensive craft beer range, as well as some Artisan meat and cheese deli-boards and fair-trade gourmet coffee from Indonesia.
The new chic pub, transformed following a six-figure cash injection, plays host to a plethora of cask ales and 40 craft beers sourced from around the globe, as well premium wines and spirits.
Hawthorn Leisure business manager, Stuart Kirkham, said: “The party was a great way to start the weekend and get to know the locals, as well as give them the chance to ask questions, try some craft beer and coffee, and share their thoughts on our new, modern-style pub.
“The community has welcomed us with open arms, we are thrilled to join the sublime selection of Bedford pubs – it’s the best Christmas present we could ask for.”
Mark McGinty, managing director of Hawthorn Leisure, added: “We are delighted to be bringing to life the vision and passion of creating a great bar that works for its local community. It is another example of the commitment we have in making sure our pubs continue to thrive, combining tradition with contemporary features.”
Hawthorn Leisure was established in 2013 following three acquisitions totalling 388 pubs; they currently operate 358 sites across mainland UK and are the 3rd largest pub operator in Scotland with 130 pubs.
The estate is combined of managed, franchised and leased and tenanted pubs.
Hawthorn Leisure invested £2.5m in 70 sites in their first year and plan to continue investing £3m per annum in 60-70 projects across their estate in the next 12 months
Artisan Tap is open Monday to Friday, 10am until 11pm, Saturday and Sunday, 10am until midnight.