VIP guests pack out 'fabulous' Cleethorpes bar The Counting House at launch night

By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 9 Oct 2017

Cleethorpes' newest bar The Counting House has proved to be a banker with bar goers following its £250,000 conversion from a HSBC to a "fabulous" venue with a "city feel".

After months of transformation work, the quirky, vintage-style venue hosted its official launch night last night for a host of VIPs to celebrate its long awaited opening.

Based at the former HSBC bank, in Sea View Street, the lively cocktail bar has this week been welcoming customers for a series of “soft openings” before normal operating hours start on Monday.

But now the finishing touches have been applied, the interior has been revealed and the doors are well and truly open for business.

Last night's VIP bash was full of atmosphere and guests enjoyed complimentary canapés and took the opportunity to try out one of many of the bar's fun and quirky cocktail and liquor-based drinks.

On offer is a large array of cocktails as well as a varied food selection taking inspiration from the building’s financial history.

The Counting House has the capacity for between 70 to 80 diners

Aside from a more normal selection of beers, ciders, wines and liquors, bar staff are trained to whip up any one of over 20 cocktails.

And some of them really do catch the eye.

Whilst offering favourites like Pornstar Martinis, Cosmopolitans, Mojitos and Daiquiris, available for between £6 and £8, specially trained mixologists can also whip up an extra special premium drink.

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The bar feature art-deco inspired menus, bowler hats and ornate glassware forming part of a larger retro theme.

And director, Ashley Lidgard, who designed the layout and decor of the bar, says he is proud at how the finished product looks.

VIP Night for the opening of The Counting House bar and restaurant in Seaview Street, Cleethorpes. Owner Ashley Lidgard with his son Tom, bar manager (Image: Ray Corke)

He said: "It has been turned into a brilliant venue and we have put character back into it.

"It's got a city bar feel to it and we have done our best to make sure it fits in with Sea View Street.

"I had the whole design in my head and everything inside is bespoke. It's a safe atmosphere and all ages are welcome.

"We offer accessible dining with good, fun food that people want to eat.

"It's credit to the team, they have worked hard in training and the reception has been good."

The Counting House, in Cleethorpes, offers a wide range of cocktails and gourmet food

The venue is the work of owners the Oak Ridge Group who have invested more than £250,000 into transforming the old bank into what they hope will prove to become one of the resort’s hottest bars.

In doing so designers have ensured they keep intact the building's existing period features, such as original marble flooring, oak skirting boards and decorative ceiling fixtures.

VIP night for the opening of The Counting House bar and restaurant in Seaview Street, Cleethorpes. Safe in the vault are (from left): Doreen Stephenson, Ann Crossley, Janes Brindle and Arran Brindle(Image: Ray Corke)

Among the unique features is a VIP booth fashioned from what used to be the bank’s giant safe, where millions of pounds were once kept under lock and key.

One of the VIP guests was 56 year old Gavin Marshall, from Cleethorpes. He said: "It looks fabulous.

VIP guest Gavin Marshall at The Counting House launch night in Cleethorpes

"I used it as a bank and it is a massive transition. It will be a success because people don't just want a bar, they want to go to somewhere with a different feel to it.

"It has an exclusive feel."

Ellie Raper, 21, from Cleethorpes, and Maxine Benzie, also went along to soak up the atmosphere.

Maxine, said: "It's lovely. I'm enjoying the ambiance of it and it has a different feel to it.

"I like the decor and I hope it does well."

Croft Baker ward councillor, Matt Brown, was among the guests.

He said: "It is an incredible transition and it was important that it was a sympathetic restoration of its historical features.

VIP night for the opening of The Counting House bar and restaurant in Seaview Street, Cleethorpes. Guests included Cllr Matthew Brown and Emma Rock

"It's a credit to Cleethorpes and I look forward to seeing it have many years of success."

Karl and Laura Hedison, aged 29 and 30, were equally impressed and say they will be sure to visit the bar in the future.

Karl, said: "It looks fantastic and I like how they've kept the features of the bank. There is nothing like it around here. It fits in with the atmosphere of the street.

Laura, added: "I'm really impressed. It's a fresh, modern twist for Cleethorpes and I think it will do really well."

Karl and Laura Hedison at The Counting House launch night in Cleethorpes

The Counting House will host entertainment for drinkers and diners to enjoy throughout the year, and has the capacity for 70 to 80 diners.

A lunch and evening menu is on offer, which features a "top quality" range of seafood dishes cooked with fish delivered to the doorstep each day. These dishes will be limited in accordance with delveries.

To book, call 01472 693255.

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