Mytholmroyd couple finally get chance to open their new bar in Halifax town centre

A couple from Mytholmroyd will finally get the chance to open their new business next week.

Sean and Elly Pattison-Walker, in their new craft beer bar, Dukes, Market Arcade, Halifax

Dukes bar opens in Halifax Borough Market on April 15, just over a year after Sean Pattison-Walker, 33, and wife Elly, 28, were originally due to launch.

But the couple, who have been married for five years in August and live in Mytholmroyd, have overcome the delay caused by the coronavirus pandemic and are now ready to launch their business.

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“About five years ago we started a pop-up bar in Hebden Bridge, with 40 gins and a cask hand-pull,” said Sean.

Sean and Elly Pattison-Walker, in their new craft beer bar, Dukes, Market Arcade, Halifax

“We stayed there for a year, finished up with 150 gins and a massive following and them set out on a mission to try and find the right place to open a bar.

“It took us until July 2019 to find where we’re at now.

“We were due to sign for it in March last year, the day Boris announced everybody’s closing.

“Luckily we were allowed to sit and wait things out, we got to August, things were looking reasonable, so we thought ‘we’ll sign it’.

“We started work on it hoping we might be open in November, but the virus had other ideas, but now we’re finally in a position to open.”

Sean is confident that the public will come out and support local businesses as lockdown restrictions start to ease.

“After 12, 13 months of lockdown, who doesn’t want to go out and have a drink?,” said Sean.

“There will be people who won’t want to go out and socialise as soon as possible because there’s no predicting what the virus can do.

“But people want to drink. We’ve kept our opening as bookings only so people can safe as possible.

“We’ve been in and around craft beer for four or five years now, Elly used to run Vocation and Co in Hebden Bridge, I used to work at a brewery, and we’ve worked in various bars and restaurants.

“So we think we’ve got a fairly good grasp of what people want and what will attract people.

“There haven’t been that many new establishments that have come around in the last few years - you’ve got the Grayston Unity, the Lantern, the Victorian Craft Beer Cafe, I’m not saying they’re old but people like to see something fresh appear every now and again.
“The reaction we’ve had on social media so far has been unbelievable.”

And Sean thinks the Covid pandemic will give people a renewed enthusiasm for enjoying Halifax town centre.

“Weirdly, I think the pandemic might have helped Halifax a little bit,” he said.

“It had been quite quiet since the Piece Hall closed for refurbishment, but with that re-opening and new craft bars starting to open it’s been getting stronger and stronger.
“I think the pandemic’s helped people realise that the town centre is a beautiful place, even when the retail places aren’t open.

“People want to see it thrive.”