Yarn is a Castle Rock craft beer, tapas and pizza bar, situated in the striking architectural and cultural hub of the Nottingham Theatre Royal & Royal Concert Hall. Just turned one years old, Yarn has already established itself in the thriving pub and bar scene of the bustling city centre. The venue boasts an excellent range of beer, wine and spirits, alongside a varied food menu made with freshly prepared and locally sourced ingredients.
Yarn is a celebration of Nottingham’s heritage and literary culture, the name itself alluding to both the act of storytelling and the city’s rich history of lace-making. With a large variety of shows and events taking place at the Theatre Royal & Royal Concert Hall, Yarn is graced by the good company of visitors from all over the world, and every day with it brings something different.
As a Castle Rock pub, however, some things always stay the same. The beer offering is as informed and interesting as it is plentiful, with eight cask lines and ten lines, exhibiting quality and creativity from near and far. Yarn also boasts an abundant wine and spirits menu, including over thirty gins, and locally roasted coffee from Stewarts of Trent Bridge.
Those familiar with the Castle Rock family would expect no less!
The team at Yarn work to uphold the ethos which has secured the brewery and pub group such an admirable reputation in Nottingham: the focus is always on making the customer feel at home. The manager, Damian Brandon, who has the unique job of running a pub that’s also part of an iconic city centre landmark, had a bit to say about Yarn’s first year, what it means to run a Castle Rock pub, and Yarn’s future.
How has Yarn’s first year been?
It’s been amazing. The first day we opened, I remember thinking ‘nothing’s ready, we’re not going to manage it’. I think we all ended up getting into our uniforms about ten minutes before we opened! But then suddenly everything came together, the night cracked on and everyone had a great time. Everything went perfectly. It just keeps getting better, too.
Sounds like show business…
Yes! It’s one of my favourite parts of the job – every day is different. We still have our regulars though, like every great pub. I think us being part of the Castle Rock family appeals to locals and guests alike. People like to support local businesses, and they know what they’re getting when they come here. We just work really hard to make sure the customers are glad they stopped by.
When would you recommend stopping by?
Anytime! Between shows has the most relaxed vibe, so Yarn is a good spot to wile away a few hours with a friend or the paper. When there’s a show on, there’s always a great atmosphere. Everyone is excited and happy – they’re taking time out of everyday life to do something they enjoy. It’s lovely to be part of that. If you could get down for one of our events, I’d recommend it. We recently hosted a gin tasting with Masons which was really good fun. Everyone got to take home a goodie bag, too. We’ve just launched our Sunday Carveries, which go down a treat at this time of year.
As the nights draw in, are there any events in the pipeline to tempt us off the sofa?
Our first birthday is coming up! To celebrate, we’re throwing a little shindig (we spoke to Damien before their first birthday). We’ll be making some new cocktails, there will be live music, and our chef will be creating some delicious canapes. Plus, we’ll have a real showstopper of a cake. Rahul better watch out.
Thank you, Damian. Happy birthday to Yarn. (It’s Halloween, and Damian needs to rush off to run the pumpkin carving competition that’s been taking place between staff and customers.)
If you look one way, into the entrance hall of the Theatre Royal, Yarn is part of a classic, classy landmark, one which is visited by hundreds of thousands of people each year. Yet if you look the other – out onto the energetic streets of Nottingham – Yarn is in the fabric of a colourful urban landscape. Though it’s proudly part of the Nottingham Theatre Royal & Royal Concert Hall, Yarn also exists as its own entity. It is as humble and welcoming as any beloved British boozer. You could pick it up and put it down somewhere else, and it would still work. But then, why would you want to?