The Irthlingborough mates who sat down for a pint and ended up with their own dream pub

The friends had the dream of their perfect pub and set out make it a reality in their hometown

A pair of friends from Irthlingborough who shared a dream of creating the perfect pub are on the verge of opening their first hostelry together.

Ryan Reece and Wayne Fisher have combined forces for their first venture, The Artlenock Inn, in the former HSBC bank building in Station Road, in the heart of the town centre.

The friends are working hard to transform the interior in time for opening of the micropub on the weekend starting August 1 as coronavirus restrictions are eased for the hospitality industry.

Wayne said: "We sat down for a pint one night at a Christmas do and by the end we had decided to open a pub.

"I had done some work converting the old post office for The Flower Company of Irthlingborough that is owned by Ryan's wife. I had built a counter that looked like a bar and we said this would make a great pub.

"We were having a drink at The Flower Company Christmas do and the rest is history. We've never worked in a pub before but we want to have a decent pub selling local ales from local producers.

"We will sell real ale, craft beers, wines and gins. We will have soft drinks and provide 'pie and pint' type cold bar snacks."

l-r Ryan Reece and Wayne Fisher outside The Artlenock Inn, Station Road, Irthlingborough

Wayne, 43, who works as a handyman, will become a full-time landlord with business partner Ryan and their wives and families helping out when commitments allow.

Ryan, who has lived in the town since 2004, said: "We like the town and like the community. We want to give something back and create a warm, friendly place.

"We've been asking for people's ideas and opinions and we've had some great feedback. It's a risk opening a pub but it's a calculated risk. It's going to be something different for Irthlingborough.

"It's about creating the right environment for people to pop in - somewhere warm and friendly and it's going to be a pub for people who know their beer."

The old HSBC bank will be transformed into The Artlenock Inn micropub

The three-storey building in Station Road will revive the name Artlenock - an old name for Irthlingborough - and will have an outdoor seating as well as the indoor bar area, the bank's former strong room and vault will provide the beer cellar.

Wayne said: "We want somewhere local you can go to get real ales, somewhere a bit quieter without loud music, have a really good drink and sit and chat.

"It's going to be a community space. That's the ethos of the company.

"We will have seating for about 50 people and a small beer garden outside.

Ryan and Wayne

"We have been having some great discussions with local breweries who have been amazingly positive."

Ryan added: "Our Facebook community has told us that they would like gin and we have listened to that. We have been talking to some local gin producers."

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The former bank has an amazing ceiling

Thank you

The former bank's vault in the cellar will securely house the barrels of beer