Not to blow our own trumpet, but we often get compliments about our unique rustic bar and the odd question about how it came about. The truth is, it is totally one of a kind and so I thought I would write this blog post about how it came to be.
Even before I started the business, I had an idea in my head of how I wanted my bar to look and I drew out my ideas. Don't be fooled, It was no artistic master piece. In fact, it was designed on the back of a Asda receipt whilst I was on hold to a brewery. Desperately trying to multitask, I had my shoulder leaning on my phone whist scribbling away and right there the bar design was now ready.
In my home and life in general I like to upcycle as much as I can and repurpose old materials.
Growing up I used to love going to the tip with my Grandpa. It's the weirdest thing, I know, but hey we all have a thing and the tip was my thing. My cousin ran a scrap yard and I used to love watching the wagons coming and going, dropping off all the scrap (to me it was far from scrap!). My Grandpa used to say that there is money in other people's rubbish "one man's rubbish is another man's treasure". He used to get old bikes from the tip and do them up for my brother and I. Every month there was a new bike for us to play with. He once brought home a chopper bike and I rode it around like the coolest kid on the block, as if I was a kid in an American suburb.
My bar had to be made from old materials, it's in my blood.
It was important to me to also obtain everything from my home town of Stoke. Anybody who knows me knows I am fiercely proud of my roots, so I wanted to use local firms and local people.
I took a trip to my friends at Baskervilles Salvage Yard to find materials to build my back bar. I happily left with 2 very old internal doors and some metal meshing. I am still finding bits of broken wood and paint flakes in my car from stupidly transporting them in my car instead of the work van.
I got some old stair spirals from Keith John Ryan who has restored various furniture for me in past projects. Instead of standard legs, I wanted the spirals to hold in place a serving shelf over my fridge.
I went to a pallet company to get the wood for the front of the bar. With my sketchy drawing in hand, my friend John at Be Unique took on the build for me and put it all together in 16 long hours. John used the shou sugi ban technique for the front of the bar, giving it a nice burnt wood look and he made a frame with the pallet wood inside it. The bar top is actually an old church pew so it's really good solid wood.
Seeing it all together for the first time was mad. The two old doors are used as a back bar with the metal meshing as an optic holder. To finish it off, I secured edison lightbulbs to rope string on the back bar to give a nice soft white light which looks really good against the rustic look of the bar.
I'm sure it would have been much easier to source our mobile bar from a regular supplier, however I 'm so glad that I took my time, followed my passion and created something totally unique for Ronnie's Bar.