Hale Wine Bar, a new wine and cocktail bar that will take the place of Hale Kitchen & Bar, is to open on February 11th.
Owner Ashley Brown told us the new bar would be a “very high-end, high-standard” venue that will be a cross between Hale bar Victor’s and growing chain The Botanist.
Brown, 39, said he actually agreed a deal to take over the Ashley Road bar almost two years ago, after he’d been invited to help run it by the then owner, Dave Rivett.
“After two or three months I saw the massive potential of the place, so turned round to him and said ‘what would it take for you to walk away from this place’. We shook hands and the rest is history,” said Brown.
Previously the operations director at former Alderley Edge venue Brasingamens, Wilmslow-born Brown has spent his career in the industry and ran Boca in Wilmslow and The Red Lion in Pickmere before a holding a senior role at the Spirit Pub Company.
He has privately funded the new venture with his father and believes he has found a gap in the current Hale night-time offering.
“There are a lot of eateries in Hale with wine areas, but this will very clearly be a bar,” he said.
Hale Wine Bar will still however be offering food upstairs, and there’ll be bar snack, lunch and a la carte menus.
Brown said he wants to create a bar aimed squarely at the more mature crowd.
“We want to appeal to the old American Bar, Piccolino’s or Victor’s crowd. I’m also considering making it over-21s or even over-25s only – I want it to be somewhere where people from 25 to 60/70 can go and be around similar people.”
It will have a late licence until 1am and serve beers including Guinness, Coors Light and Peroni, as well as a full range of bottled beers and spirits.
It will be priced “accordingly” in line with the current competition in Hale, with a bottle of house wine starting at around £18.
Brown said there will be a soft opening on Thursday February 11th, with a grand, invite-only opening to follow on Friday 12th, with lots of local businesses involved. The original Hale Kitchen & Bar closed down on January 5th.
“I am excited, but I’m also very anxious!” added Brown. “At the end of the day you don’t know whether you’re going to sink or swim, but all the businesses I’ve run in the past have been successful, and I know what I’m capable of.”
He’s currently heavily involved in the refurbishment of his new bar. “It’s much more than a lick of paint… people will walk in and go ‘wow’.”