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Dark Star has opened its latest pub, the Anchor Tap, in Horsham. The premises had been trading as a café, but had been a pub back in 1898. The Anchor Tap was the original name of pub.

Dark Star’s head of pubs, Heath Ball, said: “I think we’ve surprised a few people with what we’ve created here. There’s no stripped-back décor, no air conditioning systems hanging from the roof. We’ve brought back the beauty and reverence to the building, blending what is a great beer bar, with some luxury.

“We think that people want more than just an empty and stark space to drink in, so working with our designer, Adrian Fillary, we’ve created a warm space that’s been beautifully designed, one you can relax in, in comfort and enjoy a wide range of great craft beers from around the world.”

The pub, situated in Horsham’s East Street, offers six cask beers, ten keg beers and a wide range of wines and spirits. Food is available in the shape of a small but delicious menu that leans on great suppliers, such as smoked salmon from Brown and Forrest, stunning Galician sardines on toast, and dishes such as potted shrimps, a cheese board and meat platter.

Heath added: “People will view this as a beer bar — of course they would, it’s flying the Dark Star flag — but it’s more than that. We have put together a fantastic wine list and have a great spirits offer.

“When we looked at this site, we wanted to create a true freehouse, so when people visit they’ll see a wide range of Dark Star beers, but also great beers from the likes of Beavertown, Magic Rock and many of the great brewers across the country.”

The Anchor Tap is Dark Star’s third pub, joining the Evening Star, in Brighton, and the Partridge, in Partridge Green (the brewery tap). The team recently announced plans to grow a 20-strong estate under a joint venture with Heath Ball, who operates two sites in London — the real ale Mecca that is the Wenlock Arms, in Old Street, and the Red Lion and Sun, in Highgate, which was recently awarded 20th spot in the UK’s best gastro pubs.

The brewery is now turning its attention to a site in Haywards Heath, having secured a leasehold site on The Broadway, the town’s main eating and drinking quarter.

• Click the links below to follow the Anchor Tap on Facebook and Twitter

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