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Welcome to the ‘exclusive’ Chorley cocktail bar with edible caviar – which only lets people born before 1997 in

Written by on August 4, 2022

The ‘Challenge 25’ policy, which sees bar and door staff ask for ID for anyone they think looks under that age, is nothing new having first launched in 2007. But Chorley’s latest cocktail bar will be open to guests over 25s “exclusively”.

The champagne and cocktail lounge has transformed the upstairs area of the highly-successful and award-winning Encore restaurant, neatly placed down quiet Peter Street in the town centre and will open on Saturday following months of meticulous planning and preparation.

Owner Gareth Teebay is aware he is taking somewhat of a gamble with the minimum age initiative, but so far, the positive responses from his current and prospective customers has outweighed any “backlash” he has faced. The bar will also be table service only, with a guest DJ and a playlist of an eclectic mix of music including Motown, soul, funk and soft house tracks but at a volume that still “facilitates” conversation.

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“There isn’t anything in Chorley that caters exclusively for over 25s and that sector and there’s obviously a hunger for it, ” Gareth told LancsLive. “The current bars are very young people-orientated, which makes them less appealing for more mature clients.

“Our customer base is of that ilk, so it made sense to introduced the over 25 rule as a solution for them. I didn’t want it to impact the dining experience and I thought opening myself up to students and groups of young people would do that.

Gareth Teebay, owner of Encore restaurant in Chorley
Gareth Teebay, owner of Encore restaurant in Chorley
(Image: James Maloney/LancsLive)

“Everyone over 25 thinks it is the best idea ever and only people prohibited from coming say otherwise. The rule may change but if I opened to young people from the start then there is no way back from that”

“People can come in for a sophisticated drink and they have that security and can also avoid obscenely loud music. Diners will also always get preference at the bar.”

Gareth is keen to stress that the policy is is open to change and any guests under 25 dining in the restaurant (and over 18), will get access to the bar if they are with someone over the age threshold. The bar space was originally set to be a place for diners to enjoy a drink pre or post-meal, but Gareth is confident it will work as a standalone venue, with the hope customers will still head upstairs for a cocktail before and after their food.

The Elder Roseline cocktail
The Elder Roseline cocktail
(Image: Encore/Facebook)

The gorgeous space is ideal for guests to enjoy an intimate drink, wit the thick open beams on the ceiling, washed stone walls and industrial “punk” theme intricately lit. Gareth has given his staff expert cocktail-making and bar training after his search for a mixologist proved fruitless. He has also done his homework in developing his cocktail menu, spending years experimenting with flavour combinations and classics to create signature drinks.

There will also be an element of “theatre” to the cocktails, with most of the cocktails also made with Gareth’s own handmade alcohol infusions, resulting in a “far superior” flavour to brands.

“We are using a lot of high end equipment and molecular gastronomy to produce an addition to the cocktail,” Gareth explained.

“We have got edible caviar, pearls and rose gold shimmer dust And the Elder Roseline is made with elderflower foraged by my partner and turned into a liquor.”

Cocktails will be priced up to £9 each, with a range of champagnes and mocktails also available. The new lounge opens to the public on Saturday and for more information or to book a table in the restaurant, take a look here.

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