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They say good things come in small packages.
And this is certainly true at Weston-super-Mare’s most bijou of boozers – The Black Cat.
The micropub, measuring in at a diminutive five square metres, is run by Nick Smith and partner Claire Howe.
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It is yet to re-open post-lockdown but works are currently being carried out in preparation.
Nick had been working in the pub industry for years, running bars for other chains, but decided to branch out on his own in 2018.
He took on a former clothes shop in Weston High Street and transformed it into The Black Cat in November of that year.
The pub was named after Nick and Claire’s six black rescue cats – Sausage, Stumpy, Lucy, Ruby and Beep and Jeep.
Although their pets live at the couple’s home in Weston and don’t come into the pub, a visit to the inn has not been ruled out.
Nick used to run the Fallen Tree micropub in Clevedon before setting up his own.
The 51-year-old said: “I wanted to run my own pub but it can be expensive and you are generally tied to a brewery.
“So I decided a micropub was the way forward.”
The Black Cat is a free house and stocks a range of craft ales, artisan gins, wines and local ciders, all from independent producers.
And of course it has a mural of a black cat – in a nod to their beloved pets – on the wall, painted by local artist Martin Darcy.
The mural design is based on the novel The Black Cat by Edgar Allan Poe.
The micropub can only accommodate 30 people, but work has been carried during lockdown to change its layout to increase the number of customers allowed inside.
A temperature controlled cellar has also been installed at the rear of the property.
Lengthy lockdown closure
Lockdown has been tough for the tiny hostelry, with restrictions meaning it has remained closed.
“We have always adhered to all the Government restrictions regarding the pandemic,” said Nick.
“Unlike other pubs we don’t have the room or outdoor space to have opened in April.
“Also when the restrictions were lifted further in May it didn’t really work for us either.
“With social distancing we could have only had seven tables and if people had come in on their own, that would have meant seven customers.
“So we thought it best to remain closed until all restrictions are lifted.
“Customer safety is paramount to us and we would not want to put anyone at risk.”
The pub also works with local takeaways and restaurants , The Stable Cafe and The Strange Catch Fish and Chip shop, to order in food for special nights.
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The Black Cat also has impressive environmental credentials and is 96 per plastic free.
And Nick can’t wait to start pulling pints once again.
He added: “It’s been a long time coming but we are so excited to re-open.”
The Black Cat is one of only five micropubs in North Somerset.
Its re-opening date is expected to be announced soon – check out the Black Cat on Facebook for the latest updates.