'CLUBBY rather than pubby' was the promise as a new wine bar opened in Hereford's Commercial Road in 1986.

Chasers Bar, which promised to be a "really modern" and fully-licensed wine bar opened its doors to customers that year.

Hereford Times: Howell and Jackie Ash with Mike CharlesHowell and Jackie Ash with Mike Charles (Image: Hereford Times)

Owners former SAS staff sergeant Howell Ash and his wife Jackie said the bar was particularly well-suited to the business community at lunchtimes, offering coffee, wine, and quick lunches including lasagne, chilli con carne, and filled jacket potatoes, as well as a "drop of the stronger stuff".

The pair hoped to attract younger customers in the evening, offering a night out in smart surroundings.

Hereford Times: Cocktail waitress Dawn at Chasers BarCocktail waitress Dawn at Chasers Bar (Image: Hereford Times)

Staff were to keep to a 'dressy' dress code, with bow ties, waistcoats, and stylish dresses required in keeping with the cocktail bar theme.

Inside the bar, created from the 'overspill' area of Mr Ash's Golden Galleon next door, a plant-lined foyer led to a pink and maroon themed main room, with pink plush seating and cane furniture.

Hereford Times: Diane Bennett at Chasers Bar in 1989Diane Bennett at Chasers Bar in 1989 (Image: Hereford Times)

By 1989, the bar had been taken over by hospitality veterans Colin and Diane Bennett, who, the Hereford Times said at the time, had built "an enviable reputation" during their time in charge of King Street's Spread Eagle pub.


An extensive facelift saw the premises altered to accommodate up to 30 people in the upstairs restaurant and lounge bar, where everything from bar snacks to full-scale a la carte meals were on offer, while downstairs in the bar itself there was plenty of room for a quiet drink and a snack from the "comprehensive menu".

Hereford Times: Host Colin Bennett and assistant manager Richard Foskett in 1989Host Colin Bennett and assistant manager Richard Foskett in 1989 (Image: Hereford Times)

The city centre venue was available to hire, with special celebration menus available from £7.95 per head, while the standard menu promised everything from pate and ploughmans to swordfish steaks.

The bar would later become the Long Bar, now Bar 62, while the upstairs became home to The Glass Tandoori.

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