Closed since early June
in what many believed
amounted to last orders for the local pub, Banbridge’s Bridge Bar is being renamed and rebuilt on the promise of something a cut above the rest.
Work has been underway since the start of July to completely remodel the interior of the Bridge Street premises where previous publican John ‘Woodsy’ Woods recently bowed out after almost three years at the bar.
He decided to call it a day in the face of what he called a downturn for the pub trade.
“I’m devastated about it, very much annoyed” he said at the time, “but it’s just one of those things.
“I had no other option”.
Stepping in with plans for something different, however, are former Bridge barman Aidan Barry, his partner Brenda McGivern, business partner Colin Sheehan and his wife Mary.
Together they hope to unveil an all-new bar, renamed ‘The Cut’ (essentially for the same feature that gave the Bridge Bar its name) in August.
“We gutted the place, down to the bare bones,” said Aidan. “It was a blank canvas.
“It’s been a bit of a slog but we’re starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
“We would hope to open in the first or second weekend of August.”
Aidan explained that market research helped shape their plans for The Cut.
They took on board everything from inspirational ideas to an established concensus that the ladies’ loos had been too small.
“The toilets were likely built in the late 60s/early 70s, when maybe there weren’t so many women going to bars,” said Aidan.
He went on to report that social media was alive with anticipation over the arrival of the new bar.
“It really is encouraging,” he said, “an incentive to get there.
“The old regulars can’t wait to get back into the bar and we hope many new customers will join them.”
Aidan and business partner Colin are one-time schoolmates and lifelong friends.
For them The Cut represents the fulfilment of a childhood ambition to embark on just such a joint venture and both are excited about it.
“When it all comes to fruition,” said Aidan, “it will be a lovely place to go.
“We’re going for a contemporary look.
“In ways it will be totally different, with lots of quirky things not seen before in Banbridge, even some things that have never been tried before.
“We’ve got a lot of young people intrigued; they can’t wait until it opens.
“We know they’re going to love it.”