Forres bike shop to be ‘re-cycled’ as trendy town bar

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A bike shop that’s been keeping Forres on two wheels for nearly a century is soon to be peddling a new product.

Stuart’s cycle shop in Forres, which will close its doors shortly, is to be re-invented as a new and unique place to enjoy a drink and relax.

To be called the Yellow Bar, it’s the brainchild of young local Speyside Brewery owner, Seb Jones.

Businessman Seb says he has been working with owners of the cycle shop, Reg and Heather Stuart, over the last six months to plan the transition and handover.

Working in tandem

“Everything has come together nicely; Reg and Heather wanted to retire, and I had been searching for suitable premises to create a new and different space for a bar,” he said.

“The plan is to create a gathering place for people, particularly those in a younger age group – or who are young at heart.

“We’ve got some great ideas for the huge space, and we want to involve as many people as possible in developing them.”

The venue will boast a clay pizza oven, modern décor and a bar. There will also be a dedicated space for pop-up displays, events and music.

Watch this space

Seb will be tapping into his social media following next month for ideas and support. A series of short films will be part of a campaign to keep people up to date with developments.

The project will involve a number of young tradespeople to carry out the conversion.

“These are the people I grew up with, and I want to use the venue to support an economy that has been good to me. Forres is particularly pro-active at doing things differently and better, and coming together to grow their own. I’m just following that model,” said Seb.

He will naturally be selling his Speyside beers fresh from the brewery at nearby Greshop Estate, and will host a number of guest ales  

Community engagement

The next steps for Seb are to finalise planning consent and engage with the local community on what they would like to see as part of the bar’s development. Work is expected to start soon after, along with the launch of a crowdfunding project, whereby people can have a stake in the success of the venture.

The Kickstarter programme will be launched in March, and will enable participants to get discounts and membership perks in return for supporting the project with pledges.

“It will be the first time people in Forres will have the opportunity to be a part of a project in such a way,” Seb said.