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High Street Society plan on table for man of People Bar Brett

A CLEETHORPES bar owner is aiming to resurrect a popular venue concept on the resort’s High Street.

High Street Society plan on table for man of People Bar Brett

Brett Smith, the man behind People, Folk and Copper, is proposing to bring back Society – the sport, music and film-led bar he originally opened on Cambridge Street – in the gutted unit neighbouring Zero Degrees North.

A victim of its own success in the original location, just off Sea View Street, he switched the offer to deli and dining there, opening Copper on Alexandra Road in the intervening period.

Now the experience of a bigger venue is being taken on again, with the tested concept proposed for the former Top Kapi kebab shop, which has become a blip on the street scene of the resort’s main artery. It is currently with planners.

Mr Smith said: “Society, offering sport, music and film, was a great place, it brought in a really good crowd with a really good atmosphere. There were a few teething problems, and because we do small places, with a certain amount of people there was going to be some noise. We tried everything we could, spent thousands on acoustic boarding and walling, but I didn’t want to battle with anyone, I wanted to bring something different.”

Highlights had included family-themed Picnic on the Lawn and Glastonbury on the Lawn, with Mr Smith maximising the outside space afforded to the rear, along with themed menus to accompany sporting events such as the European Championships and Champions’ League final, as well as special screenings of Toy Story and Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

It was reinvented as an extension of People Bar’s popular rustic food offering last year, but the concept is back on the table, with the potential to create 10 jobs in the new location.

“In hospitality you have to be very pro-active, plan ahead and try things that may not make sense, but you’ve also got to be very reactive,” he said.

“Having closed Society in September we have been looking for premises. We have got it, and so far, through our architects, we have had nothing but support from the officials, and we hope to take the atmosphere there that we started with in what is now Folk.”

The biggest venue yet, the styling will aim to retain the intimate feel. “It is twice the length of The Bobbin and North, it is a big old unit. We will retain the same social aspect.” 

Mindful of College Street to the rear, he said: “I am not in this game for hassle, we don’t want animosity. It is going to planning, we have applied for an outside area, with outside facilities, and it has all got to be passed. We want to work with College Street, make sure we are good neighbours. At the back of the garden area we can put in a three or four metre acoustic wall, with canopy, so any noise created comes back to the building. We want to do that, we don’t want people not to enjoy themselves.”

An alley running from Cross Street to Grant Street further separates the commercial High Street from the residential street.

Mr Smith returned to his home town three years ago after a decade working in professional services in Manchester, where he frequented unique independent venues. 

“If we can bring a little bit of the city life to Cleethorpes, if we can help with tourism and bring people in, then we’re winning,” he said, hopeful of a pre-World Cup opening.

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