2 January, 2020

The Bevy celebrates fifth birthday as community-owned pub | The Argus

A COMMUNITY pub has celebrated its fifth anniversary years after the building was shut because of antisocial behaviour.

The Bevy in Brighton reopened five years ago after Bevendean residents raised enough money to buy the pub.

Run as a not-for-profit business with more than 700 community shareholders, the local is now more popular than ever.

The pub sells cheap, home-cooked food sourced from supermarket leftovers and hosts regular community lunches.

But bar manager Charlie Pyment said the road to success has not always been easy.

“It had a bit of a reputation when it was the local boozer, it was shut down for antisocial behaviour in 2010 so people were a bit wary of the place,” the 34-year-old said.

“That’s why there was a bit of worry about reopening The Bevy.

“But now most people are quite impressed with what The Bevy’s managed to do in just five years.

“We still go around the community door-knocking and getting people’s reactions to the pub, letting them know what we’re doing now.

“A lot of people just haven’t come down yet. We’re just trying to change their opinion of it.”

Hove resident Charlie first joined The Bevy two years ago “out of necessity”.

But he was so heartened by the pub’s community spirit he has remained ever since.

“I love the fact the general motive of The Bevy is to help out the community, not to make money for some big company as you would with a chain pub,” he said.

“It’s a lot more fun here.

“And we have a small army of volunteers who do what they can to help us. It’s nice to work in a place that brings people together like that.”

The Bevy first got on its feet thanks to the hard work of those volunteers.

Residents knocked on doors and raised enough funds to gut the original building and create a new pub.

Though Charlie was not involved with the original push to build Britain’s first community-owned pub, he has learned valuable lessons from the people who made it happen.

“When times get tough, have faith in your community,” he said.

“In my experience, this is when they come through and help out the most, in the times when you really need their support.”

The Bevy gets most of its ingredients from Fareshare, a Brighton group which redistributes leftover food from supermarkets to groups around the city.

This means pub staff can cook up delicious meals for cheap, tackling food waste at the same time.

And now Charlie hopes to bring pub grub to the people by packaging up meals and sending them to Moulsecoomb and Bevendean residents.

“It’s a nice little project to further our reach around the area,” he said.

“We want to make sure everyone feels as involved as possible.”

And after training with the School for Social Entrepreneurs, Charlie is confident the pub can keep growing.

“It taught me how community businesses work and helped me learn to love my job,” he said.

This content was originally published here.


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