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Raising a Glass to The Grayston....

It doesn't seem it, but this weekend the Grayston Unity in Halifax has been celebrating its first anniversary. And over the past year, the little two-roomed bar beside the Town Hall has become a must-visit venue for both locals and visitors to the town.

I went in the Grayston for the first time last year on the Sunday following Town's win in the FA Trophy Final at Wembley. It had opened during the week but in all the euphoria following Town's victory, I hadn't realised it had opened until the weekend. It was around lunchtime when I visited, Neil Young was playing which was a good sign. Michael, the boss, and owner of Doghouse Promotions, poured me a pint of Goose Eye Chinook, and we had a good natter about music and such. I liked the place, I liked the vibe.

Over the past 12 months, I have been a regular visitor. Sometimes before football, sometimes after. Sometimes with friends, sometimes with family, sometimes on my own. The welcome has always been the same from Michael or any of the friendly team who work with him, the musical soundtrack - which often varies depending on who is working -  always interesting, several times prompting a search on Soundhound! Good conversation is always there to be had. The quirky decor somehow manages to be retro, timeless, and of the moment, all at the same time.

And many of those early inquisitive visitors have turned into regulars. The Grayston, and now with the Pump Room and the Alexandra, the new micro-pubs that opened in the town in the months following, meant that, along with the Victorian Craft Beer Cafe, there was a reason for people like me who liked decent beer to come into Halifax town centre again. And the beer has got much better both in terms of quality and choice since it opened. Chinook is still the regular beer, but with 5 pumps in total plus 4 taps there are always a few alternatives including cider, if that doesn't take your fancy. And if you fancy something a little stronger, there is a good range of spirits too. If you haven't been yet, you should if you get chance.

Despite space being restricted, it hasn't stopped Michael calling on his promotional skills and organising gigs, talks, and other events. Some have taken place in the room beyond the bar which is reminiscent of what your auntie's sitting room may have looked like in the sixties, but some have taken place in the yard behind the pub which serves as a beer garden. Last weekend, for example, 'An American Werewolf in London' was shown on a large screen, and I noticed when I popped in to join in the celebrations on Thursday evening, a number of events were lined up for the weekend.

So, whether you managed to get there this weekend or not, let's raise a glass to offer The Grayston Unity congratulations on their first anniversary, and hope there will be many more after this one....

The Grayston Unity, 1-3 Wesley Court, Halifax, HX1 1UH.

The Grayston Unity, Halifax


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