Longs ‘Legendary’ Swindon bar will have wide appeal

This Is Wiltshire: Longs Bar in Old Town, Swindon has new owners. Pictured, left to right, Shaun Montague, owner; Kyrle Simpson, Tony Yates, Alan Robbins, Demi Brown and Paul Simmons  Picture: Vicky Scipio Buy this photo » Longs Bar in Old Town, Swindon has new owners. Pictured, left to right, Shaun Montague, owner; Kyrle Simpson, Tony Yates, Alan Robbins, Demi Brown and Paul Simmons Picture: Vicky Scipio

SHAUN Montague and Danny Mason have been installed as the new managers at Old Town’s Longs Bar following a turbulent autumn for the venue which had its licence revoked for serving underage drinkers.

The duo, under an operating name of Benvolio Leisure Limited, officially took hold of the keys to the Victoria Road spot on Monday after agreeing a deal with the building’s owners Arkell’s.

The appointment brings an end to the saga which has dogged the bar since October 18, when news broke of Swindon Council’s decision to revoke its licence after it served underage volunteer drinkers on four occasions since 2010. A new team of door supervisors, responsible for checking revellers’ identification, is in place at Longs according to Danny.

The pair has already made plans to have a refit of the establishment in January, though their plans and ambitions do not stop there. Shaun, 36, said: “This place is legendary. It has a great heritage and highly-regarded customer loyalty.

There have been other bars which have come and gone, but this has remained.

“I am just pleased we have got this opportunity. We have got some great staff here and they are all on-board with the changes and the refit due to happen in January.

“We will be keeping it as a bar, but bars are multi-functional, they are chameleons which can change into different things and have different meaning for different people. “We want to go back to its core values of widening its appeal.”

Shaun is also the owner of the Old Town nightclub Suju, which he was keen to make clear was a separate venture and would remain so, despite it complementing the potential which Longs offers.

There have been staffing changes at the bar since former licensee Mike Sheridan’s exit as manager, though Shaun said the changes were only natural in the scheme of running such a business. The pair were said to have fought off substantial interest from other parties for the licence at Longs, according to Danny.

He said: “There was a lot of interest from a lot of places from a lot of people. I know it was well sought after because it’s such an iconic place.

“A lot of it was our history and what we have done and where we have done it. They (Arkell’s) know they had good operators on their hands. “We have a good reputation with all the local authorities from being in Swindon so long.”

Craig Titchener at Arkell’s said: “We are delighted that Shaun and Danny are taking on Longs. We feel the pub is in safe and experienced hands.”

Comments (5)

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12:13pm Fri 6 Dec 13

LordCharles says...

It's legendary only because of its location. Move it to Union Street or North Street and it would just be any other old pub. It may decline now if the under aged drinkers are barred.
It's legendary only because of its location. Move it to Union Street or North Street and it would just be any other old pub. It may decline now if the under aged drinkers are barred. LordCharles

3:00pm Fri 6 Dec 13

Ringer says...

Move ANY pub to Union Street and it'd have a hard time.

Longs has always been a reliable bar. They just need to sort the weekend music out, modernise it with a bit more diversity instead of the same old boring 'funky house' that nobody's been interested in since 2008.

Danny Mason knows what he's doing and I'm looking forward to checking out the refit.
Move ANY pub to Union Street and it'd have a hard time. Longs has always been a reliable bar. They just need to sort the weekend music out, modernise it with a bit more diversity instead of the same old boring 'funky house' that nobody's been interested in since 2008. Danny Mason knows what he's doing and I'm looking forward to checking out the refit. Ringer

9:12pm Fri 6 Dec 13

faatmaan says...

so how did Arkells fall away without punishment for this and many other infringements, the people calling the shots are still the same, but would this paper actively criticise a major advertiser.
so how did Arkells fall away without punishment for this and many other infringements, the people calling the shots are still the same, but would this paper actively criticise a major advertiser. faatmaan

11:51am Sat 7 Dec 13

Klinkerhoffen says...

A newspaper isn't supposed to criticise, its supposed to report THE NEWS faatman.
A newspaper isn't supposed to criticise, its supposed to report THE NEWS faatman. Klinkerhoffen

2:15pm Sat 7 Dec 13

John Trollston says...

The same Danny Mason who wants my tax money to fund CCTV when his bar has run numerous cheap drink promotions contributing to unsociable behaviour and anarchy that is Swindon town centre on a weekend He has made a very nice sum of money from this also typical socialist hypocrite.
The same Danny Mason who wants my tax money to fund CCTV when his bar has run numerous cheap drink promotions contributing to unsociable behaviour and anarchy that is Swindon town centre on a weekend He has made a very nice sum of money from this also typical socialist hypocrite. John Trollston

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