THE date for the eagerly-anticipated opening of a new 'micropub' in Ellesmere Port has been confirmed.

Bondies Bar on Chester Road, Whitby, will pull its first pint on Monday, August 16.

The Standard visited the new venue today to meet the man behind the bar – and the exciting new venture – as the finishing touches are made to the 60-person capacity establishment.

Dave Thomas, born and bred in the town, says it's been a lifelong dream to run his own pub and is feeling a mixture of excitement and apprehension ahead of the opening.

"I'm really looking forward to welcoming the locals", he said. "There is one who goes past every day and stops for a chat. He's already chosen his seat by the door!

"The amount of interest that has been shown is amazing – I've had lots of support.

"I've always dreamt of doing this, it's been in the back of mind for a long time. I have a friend who has micropubs in Wales and the idea came from there.

"I wanted something for the community and to bring back the old traditions – come in, chill and chat to people in a safe environment."

Chester and District Standard:

The micropub – which following the initial Monday launch date will be open Tuesday to Sunday from 11am until 11pm – will be selling craft and cask beers sourced from independent microbreweries within a 20-mile radius, including its very own Bondies premium ale and Bondies lager.

Wines and spirits – locally produced where possible – along with a range of coffees and soft drinks will also be served.

Bondies Bar, named after the area leading up to Whitby village from the town centre which is known locally as Bondies Hill, has a license for a small outside drinking area at the rear of the premises.

It will be in operation until 9pm catering for up to three or four tables.

There will also be an al-fresco area with Dave inviting people to buy food from neighbouring traders and enjoy it with a drink at the front of the pub.

The venue will be both family and dog-friendly, with children allowed at the premises until 7pm.

Dave, who will be running the two-floor venue with the support of his wife Cath and various family members, can't wait to get started now but admits that the Covid-19 pandemic had left him having second thoughts.

"I'm excited but also apprehensive due to Covid", he explained. "Last year me and my wife had it right at the start of the pandemic and it wiped us off our feet.

"I don't think anyone knew at the time it would carry on this long. We ummed and ahhed for a while about whether we should continue with the plans.

"But this is something we wanted to do and we decided to push on. I'm really looking forward to it now."

Chester and District Standard:

Dave is looking to host some acoustic sessions at some stage and has also had interest in the venue being hired for private functions.

Although Bondies Bar will not be open on Monday, Dave says he is looking to offer the venue up to local groups or societies on those days so they can use it to meet up.

The story behind the name:

Dave said: "When I was younger growing up in Ellesmere Port, the area leading up to the Sportsmans and also the Sportmans pub itself was nicknamed 'Bondies'.

"The Sportsmans Arms pub was situated on Whitby Road. In the 1920s, the publican was Joseph Bond.

"The pub was nicknamed 'Bondies Bar' and the stretch of Whitby Road it stood on was and is still known by many locals as 'Bondies Hill'.

"Unfortunately the pub closed in 2009, and was converted into residential buildings. A little bit of history lives on, the residential property is now called 'Bondies House'."