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MELKSHAM’S new High Street micropub, The Hiding Place, is enjoying great success since it opened in March.
The micropub is owned by local couple Malcolm Shipp and Karen Davis who are also part of the team at Stealth Brew Co, the only brewery in Melksham, and The Vaults in Devizes,
Speaking to Melksham News, they said, “It’s going very well, beyond our expectations. It was a gamble, we didn’t know how it would go, opening something completely new and different in the town – but it’s gone incredibly well.
“Opening night was a huge success, we were rammed for the whole night. 6.30pm, you couldn’t move in here, there were queues of people coming in. Since opening we have lots of returning customers and lots of new customers, so word is still getting out there, which is really important.”
The Hiding Place centres around modern craft beer and features brews from Stealth Brew Co plus specialist guest beers from around the UK. Non-beer drinkers are also catered for with a range of gins, wines, ciders and soft drinks.
“Feedback has been stunning,” said Malcolm and Karen. “Lots of people come in literally thanking us for opening a place like this, they are just so grateful for us opening this in our little town because a micropub has been so longed for.
“Beers and gin are the big winner. People can’t believe the choice and the constant changes of beer on offer – people get really excited. We have a wide range of people of all ages coming in, all loving it for the same reason – the beer, the service, the choices of other drinks on offer.
“We offer a comfortable, nice, vibrant atmosphere; with no hassle, no fuss, just people enjoying good quality products in a nice environment – and that’s what we set out to create. Lots of people come in and tell us that they never used to go out in town until we opened The Hiding Place.
“A visit to the Hiding Place can tie in nicely with those going to a show at the Assembly Hall or going to a restaurant – Refa, in the Market Place has started recommending that people come here for their drinks.
“We feel that we have created something quite unique and special that brings people to the High Street – it’s great to see more people in the town having a good time.
“I hope the Hiding Place inspires somebody else to be brave enough to open something like a bistro in town, there are plenty of spaces for it – that would start developing a trend and brighten up the town centre a bit.”
Malcolm and Karen have also introduced food, with a ‘pop-up’ pizza restaurant and themed evenings, showcasing food from around the world.
“Food has been really successful – pizza will continue to be available on Saturdays through May and we have a Greek night planned for Thursday 16th May, which is already two-thirds booked. Everyone loved the Spanish night, and the upcoming Moroccan night is fully booked.
“We’ve also hosted a quiz night that was a roaring success, raising £157 for Dorothy House. The next one is Wednesday 15th May.”
Picture: Karen Davis and Malcolm Shipp.