Since the Dyke Tavern suddenly shut its doors in September 2016 it has been very much missed by the local community. I now have the opportunity to reopen this historic site and make it into a community hub once again.
Towards the end of 2018 I contacted the new owner about reopening the pub and I agreed a deal in March 2019 to reopen the North West corner and kitchen.
My plans are ambitious and will need investment. I need to raise extra capital to give The Dyke the makeover it deserves when it reopens. That means complete refurbishment, as it is now an empty shell.
About me and the site
I was born and raised in Brighton and left at the age of 17 to join the Army. I served for six years in the Infantry and travelled the world. I worked on the Olympics in London before leaving and returning to Brighton at the end of 2012. I currently own and run a small brewing business called Veterans Brewing. We have a huge community focus, something I want to extend to The Dyke when it reopens.
The Dyke Tavern has been on that site for over 125 years and it was a huge blow to the community when it shut its doors in 2016. The site has been stripped completely. Although many of its original features remain, it has been transformed into a retail unit.
Looking at it now from the outside it's hard to imagine that it used to be a very popular pub with a huge amount of history, The only parts of the building that haven't been completely stripped are the toilets. The only remaining equipment in the kitchen are the extraction system and the walk in fridge. I am unsure of the condition of these, but I do know that the building and its contents have not been been maintained and will require some work.
I plan to reopen the pub keeping its historic look but with a modern feel. We will offer a wide selection of local lager, ale, ciders, wine and spirits. There will be an experienced local manager running the place to give it the friendly and welcoming service everyone deserves.
From Monday to Saturday we will offer a simple and delicious menu, which will be traditional pub food with a modern twist. Brunch will be available at the weekends and a mouth watering roast on a Sunday. There will also be guest kitchens running at least once a month. There will be Vegan and Vegetarian options available. it will be transformed back into a community hub hosting quiz nights and events on a regular basis. The original name will remain but it will be slightly altered and rebranded, the new name will be The Dyke Alehouse and Kitchen.
I don't expect to fund this whole venture through crowdfunding, but I do need some help in turning it back into a pub once again. I estimated the total renovations costs to be in the region of £50,000, however a recent survey have indicated it could be up to £70,000; we will be unsure of the exact cost until we take over the premises. There are some major works involved, including a rewire, extensive plumbing work, a new boiler and heating system. We also need a fully functioning bar, kitchen and cellar installed. The reason for Crowdfunding is so I can do the renovations to a higher standard and prevent shutting in the future.
I've worked with the community on the pledges and the rewards and I am confident that we will be able to offer something for everyone. I will be donating 10% of the annual profits for the first five years of trading to community projects. Any individual pledging more than £50 will have a vote as to where this money is spent.
After five years I will continue to support local causes, together with the local community, we will choose a local charity to support through . We will change charities yearly.
All pledges that do not specify a time limit must be used within the first 12 months of The Dyke reopening.
The money raised will be held securely by Crowdfunder's payment provider Stripe until I have taken full control of the property. If the deal falls through, which is incredibly unlikely, the money will be refunded back onto the individuals cards they used to pledge.
Thank you for your support and I look forward to seeing you all when we open which will hopefully be around June depending on how long planning and license applications take. I will continue to update everyone via our Facebook page.