Welcome to Dukes.
What began as a conversation whilst enjoying a gin & tonic in Edinburgh, about opening a small pop-up bar specialising in gin, quickly turned in to a bit of a local hit. Customers came back for the passion, the vibe and the knowledge (it might have also been the selection of 150 different gins).
Within a year, we outgrew our little pop-up and had started to look for a permanent space where we could create the bar we had dreamt of for so many years. All the while, we gained experience working for some fantastic local businesses like Vocation & Co., Drink?, Barbary’s and Yakumama.
In July 2019, we stumbled across the perfect, permanent home for our new bar in Halifax. A vibrant town filled with fantastic snippets of history and beautiful architecture, we couldn’t believe our luck when we came across the impressive frontage of 16-18 Market Arcade. Huge windows and amazing natural light, it really felt like the place was made for us.
Through the name and branding, we wanted to give a nod to some family history. Sean’s Grandparents were avid fans of speedway and as their family grew, so the tradition of taking the Grandchildren to the Shay Stadium to see Dukes continued. When the name ‘Dukes’ was suggested by my brother, James, it seemed like a perfect way to remember that tradition.
In late February 2020 our licensing and planning application was approved and we set a date to sign. Friday 20th March. Yep, you guessed it, the day that hospitality businesses throughout the country were told to shut. Our temporary bar work dried up, meaning we have had to dip into the savings which we had planned to use for Dukes.
This is where we need your help. Since securing the location, we have worked incredibly hard, aiming to transform the space into something we can be proud of. Restoring a building that’s 150 years old has taken some serious graft, so to help save on costs we have been doing a lot of the building work ourselves.
We are looking to raise £10,000 to put the final pieces of Dukes into place. In exchange for your pledge, there are a variety of rewards available, from pin badges and tote bags to cycling jerseys and bar tabs with benefits.
We really hope that you will be interested enough to get involved and become a Duke.