We have the keys to the pub. It's been so long. We took them last Friday and have been in the building since then. I would say that I have hit the ground running, and we have accomplished a huge amount so far, but this would be far from the truth. I'm going to get up to speed a little bit more slowly than I did at the Nubes, because I managed to utterly knacker myself out over the course of a year.
To be fair, at the Nubes, I didn't actually ever know how long I was supposed to or going to be running the place. I was only actually brought in for one day to hold the keys until the new manageress turned up the next day, and she never turned up at all. I was running it on a daily basis for a month before Mike decided that I was the best man for the job. And even then we were constantly expecting the company to go bust on any given day, (which it did a month or two after I left the company.) I like to think that I was the only thing holding Hidden afloat and certainly the Nubes was hemorrhaging money when I arrived, and when I left it was the only profit making part of the company left.
Anyhow, we finally have the keys, and I'm really excited. The place is in quite a state, in so many different ways. The council or the old owners ripped all of the carpets out, and so the bare floorboards are covered in twenty years of dirt and dust, mingled with a smattering of rubble and other roof fixing things.
The first executive decision was to buy a Henry hoover from my nice local electricians, Able Electrics on Gloucester road, which was cheaper than any of the major suppliers would have been. The next executive decision was to cover the Henry with Sonic the Hedgehog stickers, just to make him feel loved. Don't worry, we didn't cover over his eyes at all. He needs to be able to negotiate those flights of steps after all.
Since Friday, I have been generally seen around pubs and bars with a tape measure in my hand, taking measurements and thinking deep into my pint. A lot of decisions need to be made, and most pressingly is what to do with the back of the bar. The Bag of Nails was never really built as a proper pub, and so the facilities are, lets just say they are certainly lacking an amount of functionality. To be honest, behind the bar is actually just shit all around, and I am tempted to just rip it all out and start again. I am generally against people doing this kind of thing, because they are just ripping out something lovely only to put their stamp on a palce, and once they inevitably fail, then the next owners are just left with some kind modern rubbish that doesn't fit the venue. But the Bag was never actually put together properly in the first place, so it makes it difficult to build onto it in a decent fashion. The back bar is just thin hardboard painted matt black, and you couldn't affix any proper shelves or mirrors onto it. So I am in a bit of a quandary between wanting to keep the character of the pub, and wanting a bar that has been built properly in the first place.