New independent Daventry craft pub grand opening event was ‘great’

“Enjoy some quality time together in our four beautifully decorated rooms, whether it be a cosy, candlelit date for two or a long, overdue catch-up with friends on the corner sofa in the snug”

A new independent craft pub has opened its doors to the community in the heart of Daventry.

Richard Clifford and Nikki Squires signed the lease for the Grade II listed building in Sheaf Street, formerly occupied by the Evergreen Art Cafe, earlier this year.

The husband and wife from Lutterworth converted the art gallery into a micropub-style and ale house-type establishment called The Ale Pole.

Nikki, 47, said: “We want to be a part of the community. We want to get to know our regulars and for them to become part of the pub as much as we're part of it.

“We welcome everybody to come in and try what we've got to offer and see if they like it.

Sheaf Street is a beautiful old street with lots of independent businesses. I think the street’s got a lot to offer, and hopefully, we can be a part of that.”

The popular art gallery, Evergreen Art Cafe, was listed for lease on Rightmove after closing over the summer. The husband and wife spoke with the landlord in August 2023 about renting the property and signed the lease on January 26.

“We wanted it to be a place that feels warm, cosy, and very homely. A place where you could almost feel like it was an extension of your own front room.

“We've tried to decorate it and keep in with the age of the building because it's a very beautiful old Georgian building. We didn't want brand-new furniture in there because it would be a little bit incongruous with the kind of feel of the building. So we've tried to source older and antique second-hand furniture that just feels like it's been there forever,” said Nikki.

Nikki shared that there is still work to be done at the location, including the second-floor upgrades that are scheduled for completion by the end of the year. She has envisioned a "cocktail-style lounge" or a space for events and private hire upstairs.

“We are very thankful that we've got a lot of friends and family that came and helped us with various bits and pieces,” said Nikki.

People from across the county were invited to the grand opening of the new local business last Friday (March 29).

“It was great. We had music on in the pub. It was very full, actually. We opened at 4pm on Friday, and people were queuing up outside the door at 3.50pm, which was lovely.

“It was really nice to see lots of people from Daventry come in and support us. And actually, over the weekend and yesterday, we had quite a few people coming back, so that was really nice,” said Nikki.

On Friday, Tom and Mike—members of the Leicestershire band Fufu Sailors—performed at The Ale Pole. Nikki revealed that the band had previously played at her wedding.

To start with, the husband and wife are serving a range of craft beers from around the country, as well as “traditional cider, wine, and regional spirits.”

Within a couple of weeks, Nikki wants to offer hot drinks and “bar snacks,” with more food offers to be introduced in the summer, including platters.

Teams of up to six people are invited to attend the weekly pub quizzes that are set to start next Monday, April 8, at The Ale Pole, from 7.30pm to 9.30pm.

The pub is open Monday through Thursday from 4pm to 10.30pm and on Friday and Saturday from 12pm until 11.30pm.

The husband and wife set up a Facebook page and plan to post more updates over the next few days.

Nikki said: “We would love people to come and visit us on Sheaf Street, where we offer a wide range of independently sourced craft beer, cider, wine, and spirits. Enjoy some quality time together in our four beautifully decorated rooms, whether it be a cosy, candlelit date for two or a long, overdue catch-up with friends on the corner sofa in the snug. Book a table by messaging us, or just turn up on the night. We look forward to welcoming you soon.”

Take a look at how the community celebrated the official opening day and what The Ale Pole has to offer: