An idea is born
Odd Frog was born back in 2018 out of myself and Andrew's passion for live music, good food, and great beer.
We first met at a local networking group, where we would talk about Morrisey, John Lennon, and how cool it would be to open a venue someday. Both musicians, with Andrew an award-winning chef, and me a hungry young entrepreneur with a sales & marketing background, believed that if we could combine an authentic restaurant experience with live music, it was surely a winner.
Above: July 2018 - Andrew & I, outside Odd Frog on our opening night (following 48 hours without sleep and plenty of Elvis Juice.)
Our first 18 months of trading were extremely tough, but heading into the new year in 2020 we had reasons to be optimistic, having seen extremely promising signs of growth. We couldn't wait to get to July for Odd Frog's two year anniversary where we were planning a huge celebration with some incredible acts. 2020 was going to be our year.
Above: July 2019 - What a line up at our one year birthday!
Then, the pandemic happened.
Above: March 2020 - Absolute panic during the period where the govt' told folk to stay at home yet wouldn't close pubs.
We were lucky enough to get some funding, which bought us time. When we re-opened after the first lockdown, we were just about breaking even, which was all the more impressive to us, considering we were operating at 25% capacity.
It was upon the introduction of local tiering that really scuppered things. Our already reduced capacity was halved again to around 10/15% and one week later we had to close due to a positive case with a member of staff.
Then, just as we were about to reopen, we went into the second lock-down and were forced to only operate our take-out side of the business.
Above: December 2020: Giving away all our booze in support of Furness Homeless Support Group
In early December we made the decision to close the business temporarily as we saw it as the best option financially for us to protect the business.
On Friday we announced that we couldn't hold on any longer and, that we would be closing down. We have been taken back by the response, with so many kind messages of support and this is where we got the idea of a Crowdfunding campaign.
The last 48hrs have been just insane with calls offering help - not least, our landlords - who've been in touch to offer us some support, should we be able to raise some funds on our end.
We realise there are many causes and businesses out there that are far nobler than our little music venue, but if you can spare anything towards this campaign we may just have a chance of pulling off a miracle.
Alongside this campaign, we're holding a gig at The Forum to raise funds. Check out the website for more information!
How you can help
We need to raise £15,000 in order that Odd Frog isn't stripped out & sent to auction.
I sincerely thank you in advance for anything you can give to support us.
Jason, Andrew & Lisa
Above: May 2018: Andrew, Lisa & I - signing the lease to take over 121-123 Duke Street.
Above/Below: April 2018: Building the Odd Frog stage!