Nook & Cranny, Harwood – Patience (and Perseverance) Brings Its Own Reward

“Welcome to the garden of earthly delights.
Welcome to a billion Arabian Nights.
This is your life and you do what you want to do,
This is your life and you spend it all.
This is your life and you do what you want to do,
Just don’t hurt nobody,
And the big reward’s here,
In the garden of earthly delights. “XTC – “Garden of Earthly Delights” (For Les OG)

Just 24 Hours to go…..

Foresight. Perseverance. Bravery. All qualities that I admire in people. Especially in the beer industry. In particular at the retail, “on sale” side of “the game”.

One of the things that has been most pleasing – personally – is the opening of micro bars outside of Manchester, within “easy” reach from my location. Think Bunbury’s, Northern Type, House of Hops & – most pertinently for this piece – The Nook & Cranny in Bromley Cross. All warm and welcoming. All with exceptionally good beer. All, very much, a community venue. Justly popular. Pulling in a devoted local following. Very much proof of the maxim “If you build it, they will come”.

It has been a delight to see these venues come through to the other side of Pandemic restrictions, flexing, doing what was necessary just to get by. And deepening their local ties, strengthening their connections to their local following.

What was a surprise to hear – confidentially – some months ago, was of a possibility of an addition to The Nook & Cranny outlet. The identification of a possible outlet in Harwood was exciting. And incredibly bold and brave from owners Craig & Jimmy. Faith in the concept of what they do. A classy little bar is The Nook.

I was also invested in this.

When asking for Beer & Cider Sponsors for #VISBF2, Jimmy floated the idea of Glassware Sponsorship. I was delighted. When you look at the lineage of sponsors of the Glassware since ISBF2 (Heaton Hops, The Brink, Torrside, Northern Type & House of Hops) the fit was obvious. And I loved the – for me – local link.

I was also thrilled that they wanted the Glassware for the new bar. Which told me – firmly – that this bar was going to happen. Just needed to get through the licensing application process. Not always that simple

I saw the above piece in the local paper. And messaged my congratulations via DM. I’ve been in regular communication with the fellas recently with regards to those pretty glasses. And was hugely looking forward to grab a draught beer in one! I was told opening was planned for 3rd December.

I was VERY pleasantly surprised to find myself and my dear friend (and Nook & Cranny devotee) Mike, outside the bar the night before. Having a little shufty. And a beer. Surrounded by family and friends of Craig & Jimmy. Just a little test run.

It’s safe to say that they have hit an absolute HOME RUN with this place.

It’s a much larger space that the original iteration of the Bromley Cross bar. A really decent space. A single room, cleverly sub divided into distinct areas with a variety of seating options. High seating, lower seating, bench seating in diagonally opposite corners.

It’s just…. So classy. In keeping with both the location and what Craig & Jimmy embody. What they themselves like. Comfortable, warm tones, good beer (initially 14 keg lines with three cask – and plenty of room to expand that offering as they move forward. A spacious “cellar” being evidence of that), REALLY friendly and welcoming staff too. And – I know this might sound weird – the loveliest pub toilets I’ve been in for YEARS!

I couldn’t resist!

The beers that I had were lovely. A Wily Fox Porter on cask was extremely well kept, in great condition and very tasty indeed. Personal highlights were Hibernation Pale Ale from Abbeydale and (same brewery) in particular the Salvation, Sea Salt & Caramel Stout on keg. Safe to say that I had more than one of that Stout. It was absolutely delicious. Rich, creamy, a lick of salt. It was like a liquidised Cadbury’s Caramel chocolate bar. Yum.

In no way does it surprise me that Craig & Jimmy have nailed this place. If you’ve ever been to its sister bar in Bromley Cross, you’d know what to expect. I’m just excited to see this bar develop. To witness the possibilities of this bigger space. (That elevated space with the Xmas Tree simply SCREAMS performing space)

The Nook coming to Harwood gives Harwood two or three places worthy of a visit. (The close by “House Without A Name” is a lovely pub itself.)

But – and it’s safe to say this – this bar is a major addition to the area. And is more than worth jumping the 273 or 507 bus from Bolton Interchange.

Fellas. You done good. Damn good. Take a bow.

I’ll be back. That’s for certain.

Back soon. Be nice to one another. Jx