HALTWHISTLE’S newest watering hole has gone from strength to strength since opening four months ago.

Brew Bar, which took the place of Val’s Coffee House on Market Place, has been popular with both tourists and locals since opening on December 1.

The bar, which is run by Ashleigh and Sam Jackson, brings a different choice to the table, with a round-the-world twist created by items bought during by the couple’s travels.

Brew Bar is also situated in a former blacksmiths, and retains many original features, but Ashleigh and Sam converted the business by building a bar from pallet wood.

Ashleigh said: “The bar’s done really well – way better than what we thought.

“I fly for Virgin Atlantic as a cabin crew member, so I pick things up from all over the world, so it’s totally different.

“We started doing cocktails and people said it wasn’t going to work, but it’s been really good.

“Even some of the older people come in for a gin and tonic with their food. They’re hilarious and they think it’s great.”

Brew Bar’s outdoor seating area is currently undergoing a renovation, giving it a rustic feel which Ashleigh hopes will make it even more popular.

She also has plans for more themed nights over the summer, which have already proved popular.

The popularity of the business has even seen Sam give up his job.

Ashleigh added: “Sam was a milkman, but he had to give that up and he’s working at the bar full time.

“We didn’t want to have a lot of staff, because it’s harder to make money, but we had to hire more people because it’s been so crazy.

“I’ve got permission to have seats out the front on Market Place and we’re going to get the outside area open. It’s quite small, so that will make it quite a lot bigger.”

The outdoor area will be opened on April 19, amid a number of other events throughout the month including gin tasting and a cheese and wine night.