With our First Birthday just around the corner, we felt it would be a good time to focus on our first year at Danny’s and thank you all for your support in our first year.
In January 2015 we were sat around a table in a local venue enjoying a few(!!) beers and discussing how we have all become a bit older. Without us realising, Jaegerbomb fuelled evenings had turned into a few pints with friends, grown up talk and changed perceptions regarding various watering holes. We discussed all the best that our home City has to offer and perhaps now was the right time to do something we’d always discussed….. Open a Bar in Salisbury! The conversation went from pipedream to reality in the space of about 2 pints of Beer!
And so it began... We scheduled a meeting and got together, only this time it was very different – There were no pints, Gin or Rums at the meeting table! We discussed everything from our concept, potential venues through to costs. The first job was to find a venue and when Conran’s Irish Bar became available in March through a local property developer things suddenly became very real. All of a sudden we had to come up with a name….this next part is something we get asked a lot! The truth is that “Danny’s Craft Bar & Kitchen” was something we always had in the back of our minds due to those involved. It was a nickname that had come back with one of the shareholders from his University days, unfortunately I can’t go into the exact details in this blog but if you catch one of us after a few beers then we might just let slip…. For those keen on Football then I’ll give you a clue, the nickname came from a professional footballer released from Millwall in 2015! It was a name that we commonly used in our group of friends and it seemed a good fit with us taking over an old Irish Bar.
We received the keys in the middle of May 2015 and set about following our rather budget CoralDraw plans on the layout. The first 3 weeks of us having the keys saw us remove basically everything that wasn’t structural to give us an empty shell of a building… our original budget of 3 skips changed to 6! We had a provisional opening date in mind – 3rd July 2015. In our naïve state (at this stage!), we targeted everything towards this date - from recruitment to marketing! With three weeks left until the opening and in an unusually warm summer spell then stood 7 guys in shorts & t-shirts covered in paint surveying the scene and the reality became very real…. We had 3 weeks to put it back together! Friends were called (presents were bought!), family were recruited, girlfriends were called and work began to put it all back together. The next 3 weeks were some I will always look back on with fondness, at times they made you want to sit on the floor and cry but the support we received was amazing as it has been ever since that point. We had girlfriends turning up at 7pm after work and painting until midnight, friends stayed with us until 2am to help sort plumbing and family members supported wherever possible. After 2 and a half weeks of no sleep and having tried every single type of takeaway Salisbury has to offer, we stood back and measured the scene. It became apparent that with a few major things still missing and knowing we only had one chance to make a first impression the decision was taken to push the opening back by a week to 10th July. The work continued and with a soft opening scheduled for 6pm on Thursday 9th July we duly completed the refit at 5.58pm on Thursday 9th July. After months of preparation and 6 weeks of very long nights and weekends then we were finally open to serve our first drink! We had managed to squeeze in the time to do some staff training (in between painting) and we had also sorted a uniform and tested the food… not the drink (yet)!
Our vision of the venue has never changed, we want to provide a good quality venue for everyone. A venue where you always feel welcome whether you want to watch your favourite team on TV (Sky Sports or BT Sports!) or meet a friend after work for a glass of good quality wine. We sat down with our Head Chef and planned the menu ensuring it reflected where we wanted to be - good quality simple food and big portions. It was important to us that our guests left feeling satisfied and that they had received good value for money. All our burgers are 8oz – having done some initial research we found that very few (if any) were doing burgers of this size in Salisbury.
From the bar point of view we wanted the biggest range of Beers, Wines, Cocktails & Spirits available and over the course of our first year then we have steadily increased this range. At the last count I think we were at 82 different spirits & 16 different beers.
Our first year has been an amazing experience for us. We would be lying if we said we hadn’t made mistakes – We’ve made our fair share of them but we also like to think we’ve got a lot right. The support we’ve received from our customers has been absolutely amazing. If there was ever a reason for opening a bar and depriving yourselves of sleep then it’s to overhear a conversation between customers complimenting the venue, whether it’s the food, the drink or the staff then those comments certainly help shape our business. We’ve tried Live Music and you’ve supported us, we’ve tried Sport and you’ve supported us, we’ve tried Christmas Menus and you’ve supported us. We are always learning and will only ever be as good as our staff & customers allow us to be.
We are very much looking forward to our second year and the excitement of what that may bring, we hope you will continue to enjoy that experience with us. Next weekend (15th – 17th) sees us hosting our 1st Birthday so feel free to pop in at any stage over the weekend for 20% off Prosecco and maybe even some Birthday cake!
Thank You from Everyone at Danny’s!
P.S. We have a photo album of the refit in our office, if you want to check it out then please do ask one of our staff members. We will make sure it’s out for our Birthday weekend.