Before we get started on this we'd first like to thank everyone who has been back to the pub under the new tier rules. The support we would like most is just your continued custom.
Thanks for taking the time to read through our crowdfunder. Let us tell you a little about us, our pub and how we got to the stage that we need to ask for your help.
Holly and Alistair met in 2014 putting together a unique community cafe and multi-use space in Hackney called Hatch. Holly was from the South West and It was always a plan for us to head down here somewhere and make a home.
We've always been passionate about hospitality and creating a space for people from as many walks of life as possible to feel comfortable and enjoy themselves. Working in hospitality is not always the most financially rewarding but working hard and seeing people enjoy themselves on our offering is what we thrive on. Our first child Stan was born in May 2019 and since then we have truly become a family business.
We took over the 200 year old Lord High Admiral pub in Stonehouse in 2017. We offered a vibrant atmosphere with new drinks and fresh homemade food trying to stick to truly being a proper pub that does pub grub not a gastro pub/restaurant. We built a great team at the pub some of whom have stayed with us since opening and many others that have come and gone onto other things. All have been a huge part of what the LHA has become. We made some great improvements to the pub and the courtyard garden. With improvements came many new opportunities to host various events and groups. The garden has hosted many music nights, DJ’s bands, even a music festival launch party. Weekly Morris men get togethers and Irish folk music keep us entertained during our winter months. We’ve worked with local artists, supported the amazing guys at Pollenize and we take tremendous pride in making the pub such a strong community minded business.
Over the first lockdown and the summer we opened the pub up as a hub. We started by just selling some of our Knead Pizza pizzas out of the back gate to offer people something during the darkest hours of the beginning of this horrible pandemic. This grew into the hub which welcomed The Hutong Cafe and Tilt (Sliders and Sides) to join us, and all operate from the same building. It was a great community success and brought back a sense of normality for people that had been missing for so long.
Where we are now....
As i'm sure everyone knows by now hospitality is F*****D! The grants that the government are providing and have provided are more than enough for some and way less than enough for others. Largely dependent on the floorspace of your business which is not always an exact reflection of the businesses costs. We went into debt almost straight away when covid hit. We threw away nearly £2000 of beer, soft drinks, snacks and food. (We tried to give away as much as possible) We reduced this waste on the second lockdown considerably with much more careful planning as you can imagine. We furloughed all of our staff and kept them on furlough as long as possible. Our landlords have been kind to us and we thank Millfields Trust for their support. Many businesses have not had any support from landlords and we feel for them. Put bluntly though the support has not been enough and month by month we sink further into debt. The added staffing costs and work/policing required in the tier systems makes the small margins in hospitality even smaller or non-existent. What should be hospitalities most profitable time of year is so restricted that working out whether it was viable to open was touch and go. Many have not even tried so we feel grateful to have got at least something going again.
As we all know though Winter is Coming (January- March) and without help we may not make it through. This is where you guys come in... We'd really like to keep the pub open even if we can't make a profit but we need help. If you could donate something or even just buy an advanced roast we would be very humbled.
What the moneys for:
As we’ve said the bills keep coming despite the restrictions. Utilities, rent, building upkeep, stock replacement, staff costs that aren’t covered by furlough. Very boring things to spend money on really, but unfortunately its these things that keep the pub going and need to keep being paid without the ability to make the money to pay them.
Thank you everyone and here’s to a better 2021.
See you for a proper pint in the summer!
Holly, Ali and Stan