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The Bevy

50 Hillside



01273 281009

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The Bevy Blog

By thebevypub, Oct 28 2016 08:35AM

When people started protesting about the abrupt closure of the Dyke Pub in Brighton the owner asked where were all these people when it was open. Whatever he did, he claimed the pub lost money and as he liked antiques he would sell furniture there instead. While this highlights lax planning laws, where pubs can be closed, demolished or turned into supermarkets without so much of a planning application it also misses the point that with the local community in control, the Dyke Pub could become so much more than just a pub and attract people that would never normally set foot inside a boozer.

There are many people who use the Bevy that never went into the old incarnation. That's not to say there wasn't some great things happening in the old Bev, and some of our best events have come from recycling some of the events that used to take place.

But a very brief snapshot of this week shows how we have become more than just a pub.

On Wednesday the Bevy was bursting with children and their parents watching films they had made as part of the Hijack childrens festival; a talk about organ donation as part of our link up with the Community University Partnership Programme while the student rugby club we have sponsored for the season popped in. The day before children were learning to cook in our training kitchen, feeding parents and siblings at the end of the lesson.

Then there's the regular community choir, parkrun, art and craft club and of course the Friday Friends where last week 36 elderly residents enjoyed fish and chips, bingo and a laugh.

The Bevy also relies on a volunteer committee and supportive punters to keep costs down. This week there's been grouting in the toilets, painting of the walls, storage cupboards cleared, washing machines plumbed in and a new brick wall built for cost. Our local business connector linked us up with a recruitment company who helped us for free and we've got design students looking at – well designing materials for community pubs.

Of course the Bevy is still a place where you can pop in for a pint or get a home-cooked meal at an affordable price (have you tried our weekday lunchtime offer?), but it is also a community centre. With council services disappearing, the local pub has the opportunity to step up and deliver some of those services – which is good for business, but also most importantly, good for society tackling the loneliness and isolation that is now so prevalent. Winning the Brighton and Hove community business of the year award shows we must be doing something right.

* If you want to find out about the Dyke Pub campaign

By thebevypub, Oct 4 2016 01:54PM

The Bevy is delighted to announce that Iain Chambers has been appointed as our new General Manager while Georgina Mills has been promoted to Bar Manager.

Iain has a background in pubs and catering, managing a nightclub in Preston and running the Seven Bees Cafe in The Lanes until it was closed for development in 2013. During that time it was one of the Guardians top ten budget eats in Brighton while the Source Magazine voted it 'best fry up in Brighton.'

Iain said “I was a volunteer in the campaign to save Exeter Street Hall when I first heard about the similar campaign to save the Bevy Pub. These two community-led campaigns show what can be done when people get together and put their hearts, and a lot of hard work, into a project, even against the toughest odds. I'm proud of the Bevy and delighted to become the General Manager.”

Georgina has worked behind the Bevy bar from the beginning – and spent many hours before we even opened painting and decorating the building. Her friendly manner and professionalism has seen her promoted to Bar Manager. “I started off as a volunteer helping raise funds, to now being promoted as Bar Manager is very rewarding.  I look forward to the challenge and the exciting times ahead. We have a great team who are passionate and hard working, and are pleased to be making a difference in the community we live in.”

Warren Carter Chair of the committee said “We are delighted to welcome Iain on board and to be able to promote Georgina to have an even greater role in the running of the Bevy. We know that together they can build on our work as being much more than just a pub as well as getting the basics right like serving a decent pint with a warm welcome. We would also like to thank Robert Kenward from YOU Search & Select for his pro bono management recruitment work and Mike Wardill, Brighton and Hove Business Connector for Business in the Community who coordinated and advised during the interview process both of whom have been invaluable in giving impartial and professional advice. Advise.”

We would also like to thank our old manager Danny Crutchley, who is moving to France for his work over the past two years. We will be having goodbye drinks this Friday (7th) which you are welcome to come along to.”

By thebevypub, Jul 5 2016 01:13PM

It was time to make pizza: mushroom pizza, very thin with a smattering of onion, and finely chopped olive on a margarita base. The locals in bar at the The Bevendean Cooperative Pub certainly liked it and asked for more - I may have a job opening...

Have you discovered the Bevy, in Bevendean? The only community-owned pub on a housing estate in the UK and in my view probably the best thing going on in Brighton right now. Much more than a pub, this cooperative project is a hub for local services that has rapidly become the heart of community life. Among other activities, the busy Bevy hosts The Friday Friends - a weekly lunch club attended by up to 50 local elderly residents; Brains at the Bevy - a series of enlightening talks lead by local academics; and they have started a Park Run too. The Bevy has gained substantial lottery funding to develop their training kitchen where they support people learning to cook; some of the ingredients for the delicious bar meals come direct from the raised beds in the pub garden; and there’s a soft surface for children's play and good cycle parking!

I was really glad to spend time being shown around the Bevy during their Family Fun & Open Day being held as part of Community Business Weekend. Thank you to Peter, Warren, and all the staff and volunteers for your welcome and irrepressible enthusiasm. Thanks too to local ward councillors Mo Marsh and Dan Yates who were on hand lending their support.

The Bevy is making a huge difference in Bevendean and stands as a great model for other communities to adopt. I hope we’ll see many more Bevys springing up in the future.

By thebevypub, May 23 2016 10:05AM

When is a pub more than just a pub? When it’s the Bevy!

The Bevendean Community Pub, better known as The Bevy, has always been a bit different ever since local residents got together to re-open their local as a community owned business in December 2014. The Bevy hosts a choir, a Repair Cafe, health checks, free kids’ parties, running club, and lots more. The pub has become a community hub, trying to meet the needs of local residents, and always trying to offer these activities at prices people can afford.

Now, following the award of a grant from the Power to Change community business fund, The Bevy is launching a new Community Kitchen. The kitchen will operate each weekday lunch time (12.30 – 2.30pm), serving one meat and a vegetarian or vegan main course dish for just £3.50!

Warren Carter, the Bevy’s chairman, said “The community kitchen idea came from the successful ‘Friday Friends’ lunch club for local senior residents, which has been drawing more than 30 regular weekly customers, who enjoy a hot meal, have a natter, and a game of bingo or some other activity. We wanted to extend that low cost food offer to anyone who drops in the pub during the week for lunch, whether they are a builder, a student, a pensioner, a parent with a toddler, whoever. They won’t have to play bingo though!”

The menu will be a straightforward choice of 2 main courses (meat and vegetarian/ vegan) and will be cooked from scratch in the Bevy’s pub kitchen. Gareth Moore, who runs the Bevy kitchen, said, “We wanted local residents, many of whom don’t have the spare cash to eat out very often, to be able to get a delicious, nutritious lunch in the pub without breaking the bank. We already offer great deals on our evening and weekend menu, but we thought we’d like to go the extra mile at lunch times. So now Bevy customers can have the likes of a Shepherd’s Pie, or lasagne, or a vegetable casserole for the price of a supermarket sandwich”

The Bevy has got together with Brighton Aldridge Community Academy (BACA) to help with the community kitchen, whilst offering local students the chance of work experience and apprenticeships. Gareth Moore said, “BACA has a superb catering department which is giving local young people a great grounding in commercial cooking, but nothing beats experience in a ‘live’ kitchen as preparation for a job in a cafe, pub or restaurant. We are delighted to have started a working relationship with BACA, and will also be getting together on marketing, sports nutrition ideas, and much more. We think the Bevy Community Kitchen is a great example of joined up community thinking. We’d love to see these local young people go on to work in Brighton and Hove’s thriving food businesses, many of whom struggle to find well trained kitchen and front of house staff.”

*Community Kitchen Launch date Tuesday 24th May.

*More details regarding the Community Kitchen available on our website, or by contacting Gareth Moore 07956 613 744

* The Community Kitchen food offering stands in addition to further improvement in our food offering, including a new menu offering gourmet style burgers and authentic Italian pizzas, alongside a traditional ‘pub grub’ offering. The kitchen has recently been awarded a council backed ‘Healthy Choice’ award, with a menu mainly cooked from fresh and all dishes homemade.

* The pub is now operating a food delivery services – including the first pub to offer Sunday Roasts delivered to your door. Details of our delivery menu are available on our website.

* Warren Carter can be contacted on 07988 837951

By thebevypub, Apr 12 2016 11:45AM

As the packed pub raised a glass, the vicar of Moulsecoomb said it was like being at his own wake; but there was nothing downbeat about Father John Wall's leaving bash at the Bevy – the community pub he helped open. It was like an old Mayors roadshow while Brighton's three main political parties were present along with teachers, builders, sixth formers from Brighton Aldridge Academy, residents, church-goers, journalists – a whole cross section of society turning out to show their appreciation to someone who would always go that extra mile for people (now I am starting to sound like he's dead!). Father John – the vicar whose such a good bloke he almost makes you want to believe in God! His eleven year stint as the vicar of Moulsecoomb saw numbers double at his congregation; but he was more than just a vicar with many unbelievers acknowledging the difference he has made to one of Brighton's forgotten communities.

One of my kids said he was the funniest adult he knew as he did another assembly at Moulsecoomb Primary dressed up as Darth Vader. He loved to get adults to sing 'Thank you God for giving us food' to the Superman theme. One time I thought he was doing really well selling Bevy shares at a beer festival. He just shrugged that most people were trying to argue about the existence of God. On the way home on the bus he tapped one passenger on the shoulder who was the doing the usual there-never-reopen-a-dodgy-Moulsecoomb-boozer line and gave him a piece of his mind. The guy jumped off at the next stop, probably arguing that even the vicars weren't to be messed with in Moulsecoomb!

Would the Bevy have opened without him? I'm not sure it would and it also stuck me as ironic that in our right-on ever-so-smug-city it was the old fashioned Church that were our biggest backers and believers. He also served as chaplain for three different Mayors – where the highlight must surely have been blessing a new fairground ride on the pier!

Not only had Father John played a pivotal role in helping re-open the Bevy, but the church hall in Bevendean is now a community centre with food bank and dementia café. He held monthly Leaders Lunches bringing together people to help run services more effectively. The church now hosts Sussex University's 'Into University' scheme, running afterschool clubs for local pupils.

With austerity sweeping away anything that isn't statutory, it is local communities and the church that are having to plug the gaps. Our massive loss is Uckfields gain and I pray for the next vicar of Moulsecoomb. They've got some bloody big boots to fill.

Warren Carter

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