Sherrington’s (part 3) the journey’s end, or start, depending on how you look at it.


This weekend saw the culmination of months - many, many months - of hard work, blood, sweat and tears, when ‘Sherrington’s Bar’ opened its doors to the public for the first time. And I’m delighted to report that feedback so far has been overwhelmingly positive - the acid test inevitably being would people actually come? Well, Friday and Saturday nights were both so packed it was difficult to get in! Obviously anything new has a novelty factor so everyone wants to have a look, and I’m sure it’ll settle down to something a more steady trade over the coming weeks, but then hopefully build back up again as we start to head towards the Christmas festivities.

With any project like this, however well organised you try to be, it seems inevitable that there will be some issues and last minute panics. Certainly getting it ready for opening was very pressurised and I admit we did put back the day a couple of times. But, whilst there are a few final bits to fettle, we’ve had surprisingly few issues so far, running out of ice and needing more staff seems to be the pick of it although these are both positive signs. We’re working our way through the teething things with managers Mark and Zoe who’ve done sterling work. We have lots of plans going forwards to enhance the experience too, from an ever changing menu of craft beers from the world’s bets brewers, to live music and food nights.

For me, as a designer, there’s a great feeling of satisfaction seeing positive reactions to your efforts. That’s somewhat magnified by being an actual environment that people can walk around and experience. It’s like a living breathing case study. The choice of brand name, Sherrington’s, harks back its days as hardware shop, one I used to frequent myself many years ago. It was very much like the one from the 2 Ronnies legendary ‘four candles’ sketch with a counter manned by Bryan in his brown cotton overall jacket. Behind him was a veritable Tardis of a stock room as it didn’t seem what you asked for he would be able to find it, put it in a brown paper bag and sell it to you for pennies. The choice of brand name was certainly the right one as so many locals remember the shop and have commented on the name.

Designing and developing the brand into a finished logo, and then rolling it out across everything from staff aprons to the venue itself has been great fun. I’ve even hand painted the signs myself in a whole new level of commitment - although this was really about getting that authentic hand done, old fashioned feel. Similarly all the work from designing the space to the interiors has been enjoyable, if a lot of work. Despite being a natural perfectionist, and knowing there’s a few things I’d like to change, overall I’ve got to admit I am proud of the results.

The bar is right next door to bd2 studios so I’m sure I’ll be taking clients in for a look round and a coffee, or maybe a beer in the afternoon? Of course everyone’s welcome and I really, really want any feedback - especially any negatives? Everyone’s being very complimentary, which is great, but I think everyone’s just being nice - if I don’t know what people don’t like, I can’t fix it? Hope to see you in there.


Will Bentley