A Sheffield pub has been saved from becoming student flats after a brewery expert took a risk on opening his own business.
Tom Harrington, aged 37, has taken on the former Delaney’s music bar in Cemetery Road and has brought the venue back to life as The Beer Engine.
The Star reported in January that almost 50 pubs have closed in five years, but Tom is aiming to buck the trend for closing pubs in the city by offering a mix of craft beer, spirits and finger food.
The former Thornbridge Brewery manager from Sharrow Vale, is hoping his years of experience will help make the new venture the toast of pub-goers.
“I’m hoping to create a little oasis of excellence where people can experience good drinks and good conversation.
“Instead of it becoming student flats, we have taken a risk to try to make it work.
For Tom, running his own pub was probably a genetic foregone conclusion – his mum used to run The Hillsborough Hotel, while his dad runs his own business, and his granddad worked for Bass Brewery.
Tom adds: “It does run in the blood. My dad gave me some good advice. He said, whatever you think it’s going to cost, double it, then double it again.
“But I am pleased with it and it has had a good reception from people on social media and in reviews.”
He says that is partly down to keeping staff involved in the business from day one, adding: “There’s no point having good products if you’re being served by moody staff in a dirty pub.
“One thing I have learned in business is share everything you know, and it will come back to you tenfold.
“There are three key things for me: good staff, good products, and cleanliness.”
Tom wants The Beer Engine to become a brewing pub in future, with plans to open a brewery next door, if the pub goes well.
“The ideal is to own a brew pub. I think it’s the future. I’m still going to keep on supplying beer from other breweries, but it would be great to have beer served which was brewed 10 yards away, zero carbon footprint and delivery.”