Cambridge man racing ahead with his bar in a horsebox

PUBLISHED: 10:36 16 March 2017 | UPDATED: 10:36 16 March 2017

Gentleman Jim's bar, Matthew Newman . Picture: Keith Heppell

Gentleman Jim's bar, Matthew Newman . Picture: Keith Heppell

Iliffe Media Ltd

Perfect for weddings, festivals and all kinds of events

Gentleman Jim's bar, Matthew Newman . Picture: Keith HeppellGentleman Jim's bar, Matthew Newman . Picture: Keith Heppell

A Cambridge man has bounced back from redundancy to launch a mobile bar – in a horsebox.

Matthew Newman found himself without a job 15 months ago after being made redundant from the fashion company for which he worked. So he decided to combine his passion for alcoholic drinks and a bespoke service to start Gentleman Jim’s.

The bar is in a beautifully restored horsebox, injected with a touch of vintage and retro styling to provide a unique experience.

Now his business idea is racing ahead, with a number of weddings and festivals booked for this year and next.

“Having been made redundant in December 2015, I decided to try a new venture,” said Matthew.

“I wanted a job that combined the things that I knew well and had a passion for. These included first-class bespoke service and alcoholic drinks, done with a festival vibe.

“It seemed that now was a good opportunity to take the risk and go for it. Having spent the last 10 years working the festivals, there was always something missing to me – and that was a decent drink.

“Fed up with overpriced, flat, warm lagers and ciders, I wanted to create a unique drinks experience that could be taken and tailored to any event: a pub on wheels that could provide a unique and bespoke drinks service.

“Shortly after my redundancy, I took the plunge and bought a converted horsebox. In quick succession to this came the touch-ups, the presentation, the name,
the marketing etc. It needed to look just right.

“I also got my personal alcohol licence and took up all the usual business insurances.

“The last few months have seen the advertising, wedding shows, exhibitions and word of mouth create a storm of interest, with a number of weddings and birthdays booked for this year and next.

“The bar, whenever it is seen,
is definitely a talking point. It’s
safe to say it stops people in
their tracks.

“It has effective lighting from
the up-cycled Kilner jars, making the copper gold of the bar interior give off a warm inviting glow, to the 12 gassed beer pumps serving draught lager, ale and ciders, Gentleman Jim’s is a head-turner wherever it goes.

“The bar is versatile and can cater for both outdoor and indoor events. The horsebox is mobile
and can go (size permitting) into any large enough indoor space
with access.

“We cover the radius of 60 miles from Cambridge. We’re happy to travel further, but it may incur an additional cost.

“We provide a full drinks menu at competitive prices. We can offer up to five different draught ales, ciders and lagers with 12 serving taps. We have a full list of spirits, champagne, Prosecco, wine and
soft drinks.

“I’m a local resident and have lived in Cambridge all my life, and local businesses working together and supporting each other to reach their potential is so important to the life and soul of Cambridge.

“I want to support the people
of Cambridge to have a decent, first-class drinks experience at
any event.”

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