What a night last night. In amongst all the noise and heat and packed bodies, Sip Club almost didn’t seem like my sleepy little bar any more, but while dashing round looking for glasses, I was treated to glimpses of the many many familiar faces who have helped to make our first year so special.
It’s been quite a year, filled with thrills and spills and a good few surprises. I guess the lowest moment was when, in a fog of tiredness and stress, I managed to stack a pile of casks such that a full cask of beer fell on my head as I knelt beside it. Or the night of our first whisky tasting, when I inadvertently chopped off the top of my finger while trying to open vacuum packed haggis and, since I was the only member of staff, had to continue to serve drinks using one hand only, until some kind soul whisked me off to A&E.
But the good moments far and away outweighed the bad ones. The long evenings of chatting to strangers who quickly became friends over a shared love of travel, or food, or furniture, or community enterprise, or drinking a glass too many of wine… The boundless generosity of customers who, noticing that I was missing this or that, would turn up the following day to donate their own possessions for use in the bar.
Stretford is a very special place. There aren’t many towns that would welcome with open arms a bar with no sign, a suspended ceiling and a few scratched CDs, donated by the regulars, as the only form of entertainment. Lost’s of people say that the first year in business is the hardest, but this year has been an absolute joy. Thank you all for coming, for drinking and for making serving behind a bar such an enjoyable passtime!