Craft beer bars, champagne bars and coffee baristas - Harrogate is certainly changing.
Now one of its most popular nightlife institutions is quietly joining the trend with the launch of something different for the town.
The Blues Bar, one of the few bars in Harrogate with a national reputation, has been know for decades for its laidback atmosphere, live music, wooden floorboards and real ales.
Now it’s got an exotic new feature - it’s transformed its upper floor into a small but relaxed high class gin and cocktail bar.
Called the Green Room after the colour of its leather-seated booths, it’s a radical departure for the Blues Bar and takes over from its long-running Egyptian restaurant the Blue Nile.
The new upstairs venture is the result of a long-harboured ambition of owners Simon and Sharon Colgan.
Inspired by partly by the bluesy atmosphere of historic bars in Memphis’s famous Beale Street and partly by the high standards of the new wave of modern gin bars in London, the owners carried out a fair bit of research in advance of the ‘soft launch’.
Having transformed the look of upstairs with vintage fixtures and fittings sourced from all round the country, they’ve now added the following:
New lighting and new booths.
A drinks expert as the Green Room’s head bar man.
An award-winning chef.
Simon Colgan said the Blues Bar would keep the live music character downstairs while offering something different for discerning customers upstairs.
He said: “Like everything with the Blues Bar, the aim is to do something really well and let it grow in an organic way. It isn’t about hype or marketing. We’ve opened The Green Room without a fuss and have already had a few enjoyable weekends of informal ground-breaking with customers.”
As well as specialist gins and cocktails reflecting a new trend for cool craft distilleries, there is also a wide range of whiskies. And, shortly, they can all be washed down by a wide menu of hot food.
In a few weeks’ time The Green Room will have its own restaurant service with top barbecue chef Andy Annnat, a three-time UK champion.