A former nightclub in Dartford reopened on 4th March as The Dartford Sports Bar, following a combined investment of almost £400,000 from Admiral Taverns, and licensees, Chris Michaelas and April Reeves. The transformational investment has enabled the pub to undergo an extensive renovation, featuring facilities which will offer customers a unique and immersive experience.
Owned by leading UK community pub group, Admiral Taverns, the pub will be run by licensees Chris and April, who want to create a vibrant social hub for the community.
For seven years, Chris had been searching for a venue to take over in the town centre but never felt the right opportunity arose, until The Dartford Sports Bar came along. In March 2020 — just days before the first lockdown — he and April began their endeavour to create a diverse, welcoming and inclusive space. Chris and April bring a wealth of industry knowledge and expertise to the establishment, along with a passion for the local community, with Chris having founded the local sporting charity, Halls 1919 Foundation.
Licensee, Chris Michaelas, commented: “Taking on a new venue at the start of the pandemic has definitely been a challenge but it has been worth every minute! I’m so glad we were patient and that we held out because The Dartford Sport Bar couldn’t be more perfect for us. We’ve worked so hard on creating and perfecting this space and it has been a pleasure introducing it to the locals. We do what we do because we love giving people a good time and I cannot wait to see what the future holds for us and The Dartford Sports Bar.”
The extensive renovation has seen a complete re-model of the interior and exterior of the pub. The spacious interior is split into two zones, a quieter restaurant area for those who like a peaceful dining experience and a booth area, containing private televisions which can be personalised to the customer’s choice of station. One of which even has a playstation installed for customers to enjoy. Every screen has access to the top sporting channels including Sky Sports and BT Sports. There is also a pool table, a dartboard, a dance floor and a DJ.
Having previously been a nightclub, the venue has a late-night licence and will be open until 3am on a Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Whilst Chris was keen to restore the space to its traditional pub format, he also felt strongly about offering the residents of Dartford a go-to late night destination.
Outside, the pub features a large, covered courtyard garden which Chris and April have worked hard on improving. It is made up of individual, heated booths containing their own televisions for customers to use and can be used all year round for al fresco dining and drinking.
The Dartford Sports Bar is a family-run business (supported by Mum, Sharon and Dad, George) and the licensees feel strongly about ensuring all members of the community feel welcome at the venue. To ensure a traditional pub experience, they have introduced a brand new lunch menu for locals to enjoy from 11:30am. The menu includes freshly made sandwiches, burgers and salads using the best, locally sourced ingredients. There is even a ‘doggy discount’ if you bring your furry friend.
The dinner menu contains classic pub favourites and some ‘American diner’ inspired dishes, such as BBQ ribs and fresh kebabs. The licensees will also be offering weekly cheese and wine nights.
To drink, there is something for everyone. Along with serving premium lagers on draught such as San Miguel, Madri and Corona Extra, there is also draught cider and Guinness available as well as a large selection of wines and spirits. Chris and April have also introduced a new cocktail menu and will offer two-for-one on all cocktails on a Thursday night.
Business Development Manager, Paul Gornall, said: “Chris and April have transformed The Dartford Sports Bar and created something so special. Their passion and love for the industry is infectious and the bar is a perfect example of our work with a licensee to put their vision into practice.”
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