Horsham’s Anchor Tap pub in East Street has just celebrated its first anniversary, Dark Star Brewery Director James Cuthbertson telling the District Post: “It’s been a fantastic first year, really good, so we’re delighted!” Pubs are closing across the country with some familiar Horsham watering holes disappearing, so what is the Anchor Tap’s secret of success? James says: “We wanted to add something a bit different to East Street and took great pains to restore the character of our Victorian building with attractive windows and a stunning floor. Our research suggested that customers would welcome pleasant surroundings and real ale is also much appreciated. We’ve just tried to create a better place to enjoy a drink and some food, with sensible prices in a nice atmosphere.”
The Anchor Tap was first licensed in the 1890s, when it was part of Market Square’s Anchor Hotel and was subsequently run by local brewers King & Barnes as The Anchor. After its demise as a pub it became a soft drinks bar and youth information centre and then a café, before Partridge Green’s Dark Star Brewery reinstated the premises as the Anchor Tap.
The pub has an extensive range of cask, keg and bottled beers from Dark Star and beyond and an equally long list of wine and spirits on offer in addition to light meals. Dark Star run the Partridge near their brewery and Brighton’s Evening Star, too. They also opened the Lockhart Tavern in Haywards Heath – on November 1, James Cuthberson saying: “Its absolutely flying, way above our expectations, confirming that our customers have a thirst for real ale served in a welcoming environment, so we are considering adding new locations as part of our expansion programme. Meanwhile, Horsham has been especially great to us, we’re absolutely thrilled with how well it’s going – we’ve just done some cellar work and had a general refresh and it is really pleasing that some of our enthusiastic customers are travelling in to Horsham to sample our wares!” Dark Star’s expertise has clearly tapped in to drinkers’ needs, as witnessed by Horsham’s increasingly popular Anchor Tap.