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Paul Tully used to pull books off library shelves - now he’s pulling pints in his own pub in Newport with some help from UK Steel Enterprise. 

And the indications are that the new micro-pub - which launched in early November - is already hitting the spot with customers who want a quiet, relaxing drink.

The former librarian switched career earlier this year after being librarian for many years at Wales’ most famous book-town, Hay-on-Wye.

He and wife Karen decided to launch their own pub near Newport City Centre, and The Cellar Door was born.

The small drinking place is a return to the past - a quiet haven without distractions where one can enjoy a drink, a chat or read a newspaper in peace.

“I have over 20 years’ experience in the licensed trade, and that has helped us enormously in setting this business up,” said Paul.

A selection of real ales and ciders is offered along with a range of wines and spirits, and prices are affordable compared with many other establishments.

“The ethos is that small is beautiful,” said Paul. He explained that his customers were looking for an alternative to the large, busy pubs that predominate, particularly in city centres.

“You can come in here and have a quiet drink, chat or just sit and read. There is no television, or other distractions that you might find in bigger pubs,” he said.

The business received a Start Up Business grant of £1500 to help it get off the ground. The programme is administered jointly by Newport City Council and Tata Steel subsidiary UK Steel Enterprise.

Martin Palmer of UK Steel Enterprise said: “The Cellar Door is an excellent addition to the range of pubs in Newport, and we are delighted to have been able to provide support.”

Councillor Jane Mudd added: “I’m really pleased that Newport City Council’s business team has been able to assist such a brilliant initiative by Paul. This very individual venture is another addition to the increasing number of independent and vibrant independent businesses in this area.”

The Cellar Door also received support from Business In Focus, an official delivery partner of the Start Up Loans Company.

Craig Tamplin of Business In Focus commented: “A loan from the Start Up Loan Company has enabled Paul to realise his vision of starting a micro-pub in the city. We are glad we have been able to assist in this venture.”.

For further information on the Start Up Business Grant contact the Council’s Economic Development Team – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Photo Caption: Hitting the spot: from left Craig Tamplin Business in Focus, Paul Tully, Councillor Jane Mudd and Martin Palmer UK Steel Enterprise.