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Perfect pints pulled at Mark's micropub

By Deal Express  |  Posted: November 11, 2011

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MAJOR pub chain Wetherspoons may plan to open in Deal next year but a much more intimate public house is out to steal their thunder.

The Just Reproach micropub, named after Daniel Defoe's poem written about Deal in the 1700's, will open at the end of November in King Street, opposite the Royal Snooker Club.

A maximum of 20 to 25 people can fit into the small pub at any one time, which will only be selling real ale from micro brewers from across the country, complemented by a small selection of wines.

Landlord Mark Robson, 53, a former head teacher from Kingston Close in River, can't wait to start pulling pints for punters.

The father-of-three said: "Deal is a lovely town, and opening a pub is something I have always wanted to do.

"This new breed of pub means I don't have to spend silly amounts of money on a big premises.

"It is like going back to when the pub was first created.

No televisions, fruit machines or jukeboxes, people can just come in and have a chat with a few beers.

Mr Robson added: "I have received a great reaction from locals so far, many people come up to me in the pub asking me what's going on, when am I opening and what will I be selling."

Andy Stevens from the Deal and Walmer Chamber of Trade welcomed this forthcoming addition to Deal's host of independent traders.

He said: "The Just Reproach looks like it will be just the type of quality enterprise Deal needs.

"Micropubs are all the rage nationally, as people become more discerning about how they spend their leisure time.

Mr Stevens added: "If the owners do it well, build up a decent clientele who enjoy a civilised drinking environment, then all power to them.

"It's another good example of Deal's increasing desirability as a place to live and set up businesses."

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  • markwaghorn  |  February 23 2012, 5:11PM

    Don't go to a synthetic Wetherspoons pub nor try and squeeze into an uncomfortable micro-pub - hop onto the bus and head to the marvellous Castle Inn, in Russell Street, Dover, which serves the best ales in Kent and where there is always excellent entertainment provided by the world-famous owner Paul McMullan. For the foodies among you, there is an outstanding menu provided by the Antony Worrall Thompson-trained chef. Her dish of the week is - Pan Fried Grated Calves' Livers In Pig's Blankets With A Juniper Berry Sauce, Crushed Cornish Potatoes and A Medley of Moroccan Vegetables. Superb value at £8.99.

  • HSDEAL  |  February 23 2012, 12:05PM

    Gabby, DDC didn't disclose the Quarterdeck sale to the public but it would appear that they have got a good result for Deal: http://tinyurl.com/7ewufce I have personally been told the new bus route will happen, but we will know for sure end of March. Deal High Street seems to invoke very strong differing opinions and views and once again the doom mongers are talking about the death of the high street in this week's Deal & Sandwich express and talking about how wonderful it was five years ago. But for me personally I now spend more of my disposable income in Deal than I did five years ago. Rather than do my weekly shopping at Tesco Whitfield, I now prefer Sainsburys in Deal. Five years ago apart from the library, Woolworths and Laughtons nothing much else appealed to me along the high street so I would go out of town. But shops like Wh Smith, Costa Coffee, Card Factory, Gridlock, Dominos Pizza and Borough Wines have made me change my shopping habits and buy more stuff locally. I don't know what the answer is but I believe the real issue like you say is moving with the times and making a transition which is difficult as we also need to appreciate the value of independents.

  • gabbygetsme  |  February 22 2012, 8:15PM

    @HS Deal, I am sure the micro pub is a success I don't drink alcohol but I wish them well. I don't doubt that High Speed rail is a success in Deal but the train service from Deal the ordinary one is abysmal now as a result of cuts to services from Deal. I am sure the Platform Cafe will do well if there is a market for it and it makes use of currently vacant space. Are you sure that the Quarterdeck has been sold because it is still showing as for sale. I hope it does get sold as I would love to see something decent open in Deal like Pizza Express and Caffe Nero on the seafront. The bus route to Westwood is only being talked about it's not for certain yet but I hope it happens. I agree to a little bit the closures are worrying but many towns in the South East are doing much better than Deal with national retailers. Although Clintons are in trouble and are closing branches I find it telling that Whistable hasn't closed or Faversham or Ramsgate or Dover places that I think are worse than Deal for shopping - It's a great shame about the Deal Bookshop and Soundhosue but the internet is cheaper but other towns do still retain stores like these albeit few. I would suggest the reason M and Co are doing well in Deal is due to the lack of shops for clothing in the town with recent closures. Don't get me wrong I am not being negative about Deal I think it's a lovely town and it's kept it's character but I also grew up in Deal and although I don't live there I still visit regularly to see relatives and have seen Deal decline over the last 5 or 6 years quite badly especially in terms of the town centre viability. It's not true I see negatives in everything but I am just stating facts. The issue of parking needs to be addressed in the town as the charges are far too high for a town the size of Deal. The issue of high leases needs addressing. I find it worrying that 23 High Street on what was Select before it closed when they went in to administration remains empty after nearly 4 years and it's the lease and lack of investment to do the shop up but there is scaffolding up so may be they may do it up. I think Deal needs another supermarket and I think the Union Street car park site would be perfect for this or a redeveloped Coop/ ex Somerfields let to someone like Morrisons or Tesco. Asda have no interest in opening in Deal because I asked. Deal needs a bigger town centre to deal with the threat from Canterbury and Westwood Cross. Too much local expenditure is going out of the town and that's because there are not enough shops. Whilst I appreciate the baker, the butcher and the grocer which you don't get in many other places I do think Deal still has a way to go to move with the times. That's all I was saying.

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  • HSDEAL  |  February 22 2012, 9:59AM

    The Just Reproach has been a huge success as I am sure Wetherspoons will be. Tesco did in fact receive a record number of job applicants: http://tinyurl.com/7ffmdc8 Highspeed passenger numbers have soared 10 fold in 3 months securing its continuation and a new station cafe 'Platform 1 Deal' will open in Spring. Deal Business Park has sold or let all units bar 2 and hasn't even been completed yet. The Quarterdeck has been sold for development and the new Golf Road Centre is thriving as is The Astor theatre. New bus routes to better connect Deal are being secured. The closures on Deal High Street are worrying but in reality are copying national trends as demand for books, CD's etc evaporates. Many of our shops like M&Co for example are actually performing exceptionally well. There are still many issues that need attention like youth investment & opportunity, improving Police resources and investing in tourism promotion. I know Deal very well, unlike YOU I live there. Commuting to the City everyday is a choice I have made to keep myself in employment which thousands of others from East Kent have also had to make. The cost of a season ticket from Deal is very competitive when compared to more expensive places to live like Ashford. When you experience and take a wider look at the South East and even the City you realise just how much Deal has going for it. Success where it's due should be celebrated, it is a pity that you can only see negatives in everything.

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  • gabbygetsme  |  February 22 2012, 2:27AM

    But the trouble is where are all of you coming from. Wetherspoon's will create jobs albeit low paid but the deal is signed for them to come in to Deal. As for Deal going from strength to strength really Clinton's close March 17th with another empty shop in Deal and the store lease isn't being renewed due to cost of lease and low turnover in Deal. There other East Kent branches including Whitstable and Faversham are not closing so how can Deal be booming High rents are making Deal's high street empty as is the high cost of parking. Plus the only independent book and record shops have closed in the town other than Ropers there are now many empty shops in Deal thins have changed since November But good news is Tesco will be opening another express format store in the town. As the town is booming they can look forward to receiving another record number of job applicant's I do wonder HS Deal how much you really know about Deal if you work in the city and can afford to use HS service at 80 return fare I think you know very little about the needs of Deal people to be honest

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  • HSDEAL  |  November 12 2011, 3:30PM

    Mark, I do try to travel a bit further afield and it's good that your pub in Dover is getting entertainment, but to be honest I am a bit of a traditionalist. Like so many others now when I finish work in the City all I want to do is get on that HS1 train direct to Deal and have a traditional pint in 'The Prettiest Seaside town in Kent'.

  • howardmcs  |  November 11 2011, 6:23PM

    i thought one of the customers thumped paul the other week, must have been miffed at the quality of the fine ale.

  • markwaghorn  |  November 11 2011, 3:23PM

    Oi HS DEAL! You should travel a little further afield - to The Castle Inn, in Russell Street, Dover. And when the landlord Paul gets the all clear for his entertainment ideas, it will be the only show this side of London!"

  • HSDEAL  |  November 10 2011, 4:53PM

    Great to see Deal continuing to go from strength to stength and this micro pub will compliment Borough Wines. No wonder The Evening Standard was so impressed with the 'burgeoing cafe scene in Deal'. Best boozer in these parts - currently would say Kings Head, Bohemian, Prince Albert or The Berry... but to be honest there are many.

  • markwaghorn  |  November 10 2011, 4:28PM

    Wetherspoons - yuk, yuk, yuk! No atmosphere, thin beers, synthetic food. Wish Mark the best with his miniature pub, but the best boozer in these parts is The Castle Inn, Russell Street, Dover, which has more atmosphere than Craven Cottage on a European night, meaty jugs of ale and proper nosh prepared by the Antony Worrall Thompson-trained chef.