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Former off-licence to be transformed into craft ale and gin bar

Posted by: Ashley Birch
Former off-licence to be transformed into craft ale and gin bar supporting image

Following the success of Hillsborough's Brass Monkey micropub, here's everything you need to know about new venture Northern Monkey

It was only last December when Hillsborough’s first micro pub Brass Monkey opened its doors on Middlewood Road. After a hugely successful opening one of its owners has already begun work on a second venue in the S6 suburb.



Like Brass Monkey, Northern Monkey will specialise in craft ales and gin, and feature the distinctive monkey murals of artist Paul Stavely. It’s even on Middlewood Road, albeit further away from Hillsborough Park towards Hillsborough Corner, next to the recently opened Boo coffee shop.


Where it differs though, is in size. The new venue is bigger than its predecessor and even has an extra room in the back, that we’re told in time will become a wine and prosecco bar, another first for Hillsborough.

Northern Monkey’s bar director Wendy Willis said: “There’s nothing like this round here, and it's screaming out for it. We’re hoping that Northern Money, and Brass Monkey, reinvigorates investment in this area, which is vastly needed.


“The days have gone where Hillsborough is full of charity shops and betting shops, people need to have somewhere to visit and that will hopefully bring other businesses in.”


With this venue they also plan to stock a selection of rum, which they plan to pair with different and unusual flavoured coke mixers. They will also be operating a strictly over 21s policy.


“This is the second of many we have planned over the next couple of years” says Wendy: “The Monkey brand is here to stay. It’s quirky and consistent across both venues but with this one we’re looking to accommodate over 21s. There’s nothing here for that audience.


“There’s certain clientele that you know will come into an area where they feel safe and comfortable.”

Northern Monkey is hoping to be open by the end of June and they are currently looking for bar staff, especially candidates with cocktail experience, to join the team. To apply email


Wendy said: “We’ve started a trend down here and there’s a lot of interest. We did Brass Monkey as a trial run and everything we’ve done down there has worked out perfectly, so we’re excited to open this one.


“We can’t wait, because the amount of people we’ve had outside looking through has been amazing, it’s like a fishbowl! It used to be a vibrant area in Hillsborough and people are wanting it to come back.”

To check in on Northern Monkey’s progress head over to its Facebook page.

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