Former bouncer champing at the bit for first bar venture

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Altrincham born and bred, Dave Seeby has grafted away for years for the chance to run his own bar.

Whether doing up local shops (he’s a shop-fitter by trade) or running the doors in Goose Green (he was a bouncer at The Green Room), the closest he got were the bars of the Orange Tree and the Unicorn – now the Old Market Tavern – where he was a regular.

Now though, the 52-year-old has grabbed his chance, and next month he opens Champz Bar, next door to the Orange Tree.

“Am I brave or daft,” he admits, “I do wonder… perhaps it’s a midlife crisis!”

He’s certainly brave. The last occupants – Greek restaurant Olive Olive – lasted all of three months before making a sharp exit in January, leaving this glorious building at the heart of the old town to lie pitifully dormant.

Seeby believes he has spotted an opportunity for a “mid to upmarket bar that does sports”. That doesn’t mean it’s a sports bar, he insists, although there will be a couple of 60-inch televisions on the walls.

But there’ll be comedy and live music nights too – “I don’t want it to be just male-orientated,” the father of two says, “I want women to come in too”. Hence the name, with the ‘z’ intended to add a dash of glamour to the more sporty-sounding ‘Champs’.

Below: Dave Seeby, the owner of Champz Bar


It may be his first bar venture, but Seeby certainly knows what he wants. He insists it won’t be overpriced because he values his independence too much – “I’ll be fair because I am free trade – it’s not a tied bar, it’s my own.”

What about the chances of it attracting the more unsavoury element, those attracted by its proximity to the interchange and it’s 2am licence on Fridays and Saturdays?

The former bouncer is adamant: “It won’t happen – it will be self-policing, there’s too many of my friends who will be in here.

“Of course it happens occasionally and there’s always going to be one lunatic, but hopefully there will be none of that. I’m not worried about it.

“I am not letting just anybody in – I serve drinks, not drunks. There’ll be a nice strict dress code, no soiled clothes. You don’t come from work into here. I don’t want that – it’s not a vault. I know loads of lads who think they can come in because it’s mine – but it’s not going to be that way. I’ll say go home and come back when you’ve got changed.”

He’s working 80-hour weeks, doing much of the refurbishment himself, to ensure he opens by the first week of December.

“I’m just as enthusiastic about it as I was when I took it on – I’m really excited about it,” he adds. “I think’s it’s got a chance, I really do.

“I’m 52 now so I’ve seen the good and bad days in Altrincham. But with the market now, it’s brilliant. You go any time of the day and it’s full – hopefully some of them will walk over and have a beer in here.”

Below: Inside and outside Champz Bar 

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