September 9, 2015 by Whispering Smith
Whispering Smith Column published in the Littlehampton Gazette September 3rd 2015
LOCAL businessman Kevin Jenkins’ current passion is the newly opened Tap and Barrel Brewery situated behind his Contented Pig coffee bar and diner on Littlehampton’s High Street. The Bristol born man has made a considerable investment in the town centre and seems confident it will prove popular not only to discerning locals but also as an attractive destination and draw to folk outside of the town. The Tap features handsome stone flooring, period décor, defunct town pub signs and an attractive almost gothic arched interior. The premises are licenced for civil weddings and have an attractive outside area comfortable for fresh air drinkers and children. The spacious interior would lend itself very easily to almost any event or gathering of like-minded people including music gigs, workshops, themed events and even, dare I say it, the odd poetry reading, review or one off theatre production. The Tap is open daily from 10.00am to 8pm on most evenings with longer opening times at weekends. A quiet intimate setting for soft music and a chat over a coffee, a glass of wine or one of the several excellent ales and ciders brewed by his son William. Local salt marsh fed pigs which feed on the used brewery grain make for fine snorkers. All food where possible is locally sourced. A huge financial gamble perhaps but if successful a very worthwhile venture to further raise the town’s profile as a premier south coast attraction and I wish it well. I hope the two local councils get behind it and are astute enough to appreciate its very real value to the town and surrounding community but, on that score, one can only hope.
JUST about my favourite shop in Littlehampton has to be the Fireside Bookshop a store which not only sells collectable and very readable books at a very fair price but also holds readings and associated art exhibitions. There is one currently running, ‘(States) of dust and glass’ it began on the 28th of August and will run until the 28th of November and is the work of Julian Hyde who recently drove across the US, images of his road trip are on display and well worth a visit. Who knows, you may want to buy a book as well, there are plenty to choose from.