Bar Wars Ltd

Bar Wars Ltd

Turning a love of great British pubs into a thriving business

Turning a love of great British pubs into a thriving business

Mike Cranney and Joby Andrews have turned their love of great British pubs into a thriving business that’s at the heart of local communities. Here, they explain the influence of their own lifestyle changes and how Richardson Swift has helped them over the years.

Interview with Mike and Joby

How did you start out?

We bought our first pub, the Pipe and Slippers in Stokes Croft, back in 2004 when we were in our late 20s. It had DJs and we offered cocktails. We were still partying then, so it reflected this lifestyle.

Quite soon after we took on The Windmill in Bedminster, but by then Joby had had his first child and that changed the motivation. The idea was to create venues that we wanted to spend time in ourselves. With the Windmill, we wanted to create a place that was still kid friendly, but not totally geared up towards kids and which retained the original principles of the British pub.

In 2010 we opened The Lazy Dog, in Ashley Down. This was more of a grand design of ours. By then we were more interested in food and wine, so it mirrored more of our time of life.

What are you guiding principles?

It’s a time when old fashioned pubs are few and far between. We want our venues to be proud and independent and bursting with character. We’ve created places that are attractive to different types of people and that we feel have something for everyone.

What next?

We want to continue running popular venues that people like to go to and continue trying new things. We run popular film clubs at the Windmill and The Lazy Dog, for example, plus we have a Mixcloud page for our DJs at the Pipe and Slippers.

We’d also like to keep winning awards for our food. We’re passionate about fresh, local produce and one of our future projects includes creating a walled garden at the Lazy Dog and to grow our own lettuce and herbs.

How did you meet Richardson Swift?

A couple of years ago we attended a session that Jon Miles was running to give small business owners more clarity about tax. We went along and hit it off with Jon and decided that our accountant was not doing the job we wanted them to, so we moved over to Richardson Swift.

How have they helped your business?

The problem is that when you’re focussed on running a business, you don’t have time to look at the tax and accounting side of things. Richardson Swift helps us make the best of what we’ve got to work with as a small company and to be as tax efficient as we can be, abiding by the rules of course.

As well as advising us on the structure of the business, Jon’s also helped us with Directors’ loans and the way we keep track of payments and pay each other.

What do you like about working with Richardson Swift?

Everyone we’ve worked with is friendly and switched on, and knows what we need from them. We can trust them to do the things we don’t have time for, like reconciling our bank accounts and data inputting. It’s a good client relationship. They are easy to deal with and uncomplicated.

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