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Bring on The Beacon: Back to the future for new Pi Bar owners

Chris Bardsley and Will Brown spent five years working at the popular Shaw’s Road bar before leaving in 2019 to launch their own venue in King’s Court.

Will Brown (left) and Chris Bardsley have taken over Pi Bar

The team behind Batch Bottlestore has taken over Pi Bar after admitting it was “too good an opportunity to miss”.

Chris Bardsley and Will Brown spent five years working at the popular Shaw’s Road bar before leaving in 2019 to launch their own venue in King’s Court.

Pi Bar announced its closure on Monday 6th November but said that “change is coming, the future is bright”.

And we can now reveal that Bardsley and Brown have grabbed the chance to go back to the future by acquiring the popular Pi - and will be renaming it The Beacon.

Bardsley told us: “I don't think we've ever hidden our desire to one day go back there if the opportunity ever arose. 

“We never really felt it would arise but I've kept up a good relationship with the current owner. We speculatively asked him if he'd be interested in selling, and to our complete surprise he said yes. Is it the best time to open another place? Probably not, but it was too good an opportunity to miss.”

Pi Bar had been a popular spot on Shaw's Road for over a decade

Bardsley said that Pi, which has been on Shaw’s Road for over a decade after replacing the Belgian Bar, is an “Altrincham staple”.

He added: “It’s in an unbelievable spot, with a big beer garden at the back. It’s the only spot in Altrincham that gets the sun in summer all day and night. It's a beautiful people-watching spot, and it's got a very loyal following.”

Bardsley said that he and Brown were going to be giving the new bar “a bit of TLC” but that they did not want to change too much.

“The heart, soul and bones of the place are great,” he said. “I like what it's about and I don't think we want to change too much. It just needs a bit of a fresh face.”

Batch co-owner Chris Bardsley said he wants The Beacon to feel like a "nice neighbourhood pub"

As for the new name, Bardsley said they considered several options but settled on one that has olde English connections to Batch, the name of the duo’s other bar in King’s Court.

“The Beacon felt like a pub name and we wanted it to feel like a nice neighbourhood pub,” he added. 

Bardsley said he was keen to scotch any notion that the new acquisition spelled the end for Batch.

“A few people have thought that we would be calling time here, but it's absolutely not the case,” he said. We have no intention of closing Batch.” 

Pi Bar is being rebranded The Beacon

As part of what he says is a “signal of intent”, Bardsley and Brown have just invested in new chairs at Batch - replacing their old stools - and expanded the floor space by creating a new seating area where the deli counter used to be.

Bardsley is now looking forward to a busy festive period at Batch, which includes the popular Carols at King’s Court event on Wednesday December 20th.

“We had always thought of Batch as quite a summery spot, but actually we do very well in the winter time and I’m looking forward to seeing the courtyard full once again in the lead-up to Christmas.”

Batch Bottlestore, Kings Court, Railway St, Altrincham WA14 2RD. Follow @batchbottlestore on Instagram.