Local residents, Allen and Helen Watts, yearned for somewhere to go for a drink and a bite to eat where Helen could enjoy a great coffee at the same time as Allen could savour a pint. Not fans of rowdy, noisy pubs with lots of swearing, the couple decided it was time to venture into the hospitality industry and took on what was previously known as The Railyway Tavern and re-branded it as The Lunar Hare.
Over the last three months, Allen and Helen have worked tirelessly on getting the building, inside and out, to the standard they dreamed of and insisted on. Allen told Andover & Villages, “We couldn’t have done this without my Dad, Micky Watts, who retired only three weeks before work started on our new venture and has since been working night and day to get the refurbishment complete for the launch on Monday 2nd February 2015 at 9am.”
Andover and Villages were lucky enough to have a sneaky peek at The Lunar Hare before their launch on Monday.
A purpose designed dining room area allows diners to relax in a comfortable chic but relaxed style. The focus is on the food, prepared by Head Chef Dennis Jannsen and his Sous Chefs, Tom, Sergei and Luke. The menu will be ever changing, but the teaser menu is a thing of beauty, with starters such as savoy cabbage veloute, Stockbridge mushrooms, crumbled faggot at £6.50 and mains like blackened flank steak, celeriac, cafe de paris butter, pita for £19. The Vegetarian menu is the most extensive I have seen and gluten free diets can also be catered for. The food promises to be something that Central Andover hasn’t seen in a long time – if ever!
An amazing and exciting wine list that specialises in French Wines is sure to thrill wine lovers. Local Danebury Ring wines will also be available.
Over the other side of the exciting building is a well stocked bar, with real ales, lagers, bottled beers, soft drinks and, of course, coffee – fantastic coffee from the coolest barista coffee machine that will fulfil Allen and Helen’s dream of sitting and enjoying a ‘coffee & beer’ combination. Also available on a daily basis from 9am is cake – delicious homemade cake to be enjoyed with a hot cup of coffee or tea, including a daily gluten free option. You could use the Lunar Hare for planning a meeting or a meeting hub for friends. The variety of tables, chairs and sofas are all accommodating.
The good-sized garden is under construction and awaits the arrival of open-fronted, heated beach huts to complete the look and feel of the summertime hang out with a ‘beach’ feel. Allen says, “If you are feeling brave, then grab a blanket from the basket and snuggle up to watch the stars.”
Across the garden, ‘The Snug’ is exactly that, a warm cosy nook of a room, separate from the pub and restaurant. Available for private dining or as a meeting room, the team at Lunar Hare can meet your requirements, whether it be playing your own music from a memory stick or needing projector screens to be able to complete a presentation to your board members.
The Lunar Hare is the newest and most exciting concept to bounce into Andover. Run by locals, for locals, with a great understanding of what Andover needs and wants, this is a great place for a romantic meal, a family gathering, a quiet coffee or a catch up with friends. Allen told Andover & Villages, “The Lunar Hare is a different kind of pub. It is the kind of pub we have been in search of for many years, so we created it ourselves.
“We look forward to sharing The Lunar Hare with you. The fires will be lit, the lights will be bright and the arm chairs will be waiting to be filled.”
The Lunar Hare opens for business at 9am Monday 2nd February 2014. You can visit their website by clicking on the following link: thelunarhare.co.uk
Thank you to Paul Scicluna for the pictures
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