“TO SAY we had a rocky start is an understatement.”

Alan Pennell reflects on the situation he and his fiancée Holly Ambrose faced after opening Chapter 2, a stylish cocktail and wine bar in Bingley.

“We bought what used to be a night club and created a new bar,” he says. “It opened on November 14, 2019 but quickly had to close due to the pandemic.”

But as rapidly as it was forced to shut its doors, the Chapel Lane bar bounced back and is now a go-to destination in the town, not only to sit and enjoy a drink, but to have fun at event nights. Alan and Holly put their heart and soul into entertaining customers - and it shows.

“We hung in there through Covid - now we are on the other side we have seen a vast increase in custom - it’s buzzing,” says Alan. “With themed bottomless brunches, comedy nights, and monthly nostalgic ‘90s nights with well-known DJ Matt Evans from Bingley, . We have had some great reviews - ‘The best night out I have ever had’ and ‘These ‘90s nights, are exactly how I remembered them back in the day.’”

Previous events have included Spice Girls Bottomless Brunch, ‘80s hits brunch, Dirty Dancing brunch, Mama Mia Mother’s Day brunch and Queen tribute brunch.

“We have a Britney VS Christina brunch scheduled on Easter weekend and much more to come.”

The popular bar also hosts a monthly comedy night. “We are Bingley's only regular comedy venue and the nights are amazing. We have had some top comedians in such as Scott Bennett, Nina Gilligan and Bingley's own and beautiful Seeta Wrightson. We are about to launch a monthly karaoke night, on a Thursday.”

The “very Instagrammable” interior is modern and trendy, with flower walls, neon lighting and designer decor. “It has cosy booths, a brilliant large window-seating area, and a very stylish illuminated bar,” says Alan. “We have a small outside seating area with oversailing, which is a fantastic little spot for catching the sun and people watching.”

Alan and Holly manage the business, working alongside their daughter Daisy, 19, and staff members Hollie Haigh, Josh Bishop, Sophie Long and Molly Marsh.

“We are a fantastic team who are passionate about our work,” says Alan.

Chapter 2 is the second business opened by Alan and Holly, hence the name. “We own and run Cottingley Diner, a café in Cottingley, so this is the next chapter in our business lives,” says Alan.

“I'll also admit that while at a food festival in summer 2019, we saw a pair of businesses owned by the same owner in the same town, called Chapter 1 and Chapter 2. We loved that and found the idea pretty fitting to ourselves.

“At the beginning I kept a job along with running the bar, while Holly has continued to run the café, but the time came for me to hang up my tools and enjoy the venture we have created.”

The bar sells a wide range of cocktails “made with fresh and top spec ingredients. We don't just stop there, our wine menu is also fantastic - we source our wine from a local independent supplier, well known for quality,” says Alan.

“We also have a brilliant range of lagers, ciders and ales on draught and tap. We have two rotating ale options where we tend to stick with Yorkshire breweries, occasionally slipping in an award winning ale such as Titanic Plum Porter. Our customers are spoiled for choice.”

Alan praises their regulars, who have supported them from the start. “Without them we would not be here now,” he says.

Chapter 2 is proving popular for private functions. “Our venue is the perfect size and layout,” says Alan. “With fantastic connections to party props, we can host a party to remember. We have several customers who instantly rebooked for another party later on in the year.”

The bar is also available during the week for various functions. “Bingley WI run a craft group every Tuesday morning, we have a couple of evening craft groups that run monthly classes and we also host a book club on a Friday night, which is a fantastic group who enjoy discussing the book of the month whilst enjoying good company and a glass of wine.”

Baby showers, engagement, funeral wakes and even a wedding have been held on the premises, which offers “a one-stop service with a catering package.”

Alan and Holly are in the process of transforming the first floor of the building. “We have a vision of building a kitchen and new Speakeasy bar. We are hopeful the work will be complete by the end of the year,” adds Alan.

*Chapter 2 Cocktail & Wine Bar, 11a Chapel Lane, Bingley BD16 2NG