Couple’s new venture enjoys great support

Ryan and Hollie Blankley open their new bar, Watergate Yard. EMN-180207-175911001
Ryan and Hollie Blankley open their new bar, Watergate Yard. EMN-180207-175911001

A Sleaford area couple have enjoyed a fantastic opening weekend to their new business venture having breathed new life into an old Sleaford pub premises after a lengthy period of closure.

Ryan and Hollie Blankley, who previously ran Bar 51 in Sleaford, have taken on the former Rose and Crown premises on Watergate.

Watergate Yard, Sleaford. EMN-180207-180207001

Watergate Yard, Sleaford. EMN-180207-180207001

The old sign has been removed from the historic, 300 year-old building and gifted to the former landlady and it has been rebranded as Watergate Yard as part of the revamp.

After a month of refurbishments since acquiring the property, with help from friends, they opened on Friday evening with masses of local people keen to support the new bar and find out the newest place to be in town.

Hollie said: “The look is less industrial than Bar 51, more vintage with a modern twist.”

This includes stylish grey tiles and paintwork behind the bar, brass pipe light fittings, retro wallpaper and chunky tables and chairs. She said: “It’s a real mix. The colours really complement each other.”

The outdoor area at Watergate Yard, Sleaford. EMN-180207-180126001

The outdoor area at Watergate Yard, Sleaford. EMN-180207-180126001

The garden area is a key feature too, with beer barrel tables and a tin ‘shack’ shelter.

Hollie said: “The garden has come together beautifully. I think it will change the dynamic of our business. There isn’t an outside space like it in Sleaford, it feels such an oasis of calm.”

They bring back their wide selection of gins and ales and have employed two new chefs - Stefan and Adam who are putting together a small, but developing menu. The business now has a staff team of 12, with a new ‘brunch’ menu too.

Hollie said: “We have paper menus to begin with so we can try things out with our suggestions board. It is important we give people what they want.”

A busy opening night at the bar in Watergate Yard, Sleaford. EMN-180207-180036001

A busy opening night at the bar in Watergate Yard, Sleaford. EMN-180207-180036001

Music will play a part in the atmosphere and they hope to bring back the open mic nights. They also aim to have a wider lunchtime food offer.

The couple plan to refurbish and open up the guest rooms upstairs over the next month.

Ryan said: “There has been really great hype about us opening and we are humbled by the support. Sleaford has such a strong sense of community. We want everyone to do well.”

The interior of Watergate Yard. EMN-180207-175955001

The interior of Watergate Yard. EMN-180207-175955001

Ryan and Hollie Blankley open their new bar, Watergate Yard. EMN-180207-175827001

Ryan and Hollie Blankley open their new bar, Watergate Yard. EMN-180207-175827001