Leamington Spa creative arts “watering hole” to diversify after government restrictions bite

Temperance-6

A Leamington café and bar which has become a hub for the creative arts will be able to continue its support for artists after diversifying post-lockdown.

Temperance, based on Bath Street, was set up in May 2018 and temporarily shut in March when Covid-19 forced the blanket closure of cafes, bars and venues across the country.

Owner Adrian Gains bought the previously derelict Grade II listed Regency property in 2016, completely renovated it, creating the four-room venue, which includes a café, tea room and live entertainment venue.

The venue was thriving pre-lockdown with regular sell-out nights providing a platform for up-and-coming local musicians, artists, comedians and poets.

But Government restrictions have forced Adrian to reinvent the venue by introducing more seating and serving cuisine from around the world – but with the aim of still being able to support the creative arts in Leamington.

The venue features an art gallery which showcases work from local artists every month with no commission and a rehearsal space offered free-of-charge to local musicians.

Temperance works closely with leading accountancy firm Burgis & Bullock, which has offices in Leamington, Nuneaton, Rugby and Stratford-upon-Avon, and has been supporting the venue with furlough guidance and expert advice throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

Adrian received a £10,000 grant from the Government’s Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund and he reinvested all of this directly into upgrading the venue.

Adrian said: “We were doing brilliantly up to lockdown, hosting music, theatre and poetry nights. Over the last two years we have become the heart of the creative community.

“After lockdown everything changed for us, we couldn’t run any of our live events and our café capacity reduced by 25 per cent.

“We knew we had to change something, so we invested in more seating downstairs and we’re now developing as a food venue that can still do events and yet still provide that unique space for creative people in Leamington.

“Burgis & Bullock have been a great help throughout lockdown with their support, particularly with the furlough scheme and taxes.  They tell me what I need to do even though I don’t always do it.

“Our plan is to showcase different cuisines from around the world and we’ve already seen sell-out demand for our Italian, Spanish and Venezuelan nights.  We will shortly be adding vegan and Jamaican cuisine to this list and more.

“We’re surviving but it’s never been about making money for me, the venue is more of a social enterprise.  We have a fantastic team and our customers are the best in the world.

“There isn’t another place like Temperance in Leamington and, if we have to reinvent ourselves to protect that, we will do so. Hopefully soon, we will be able to get back to hosting more events.”

Trevor Day, Head of Client Services at Burgis & Bullock, added: “We started working with Temperance nearly two years ago and Adrian is a dedicated individual with a real passion for supporting the arts in Leamington.

“The hospitality industry has been hit hard across the country and this has forced owners, like Adrian, to think outside of the box and take necessary steps to secure their future.

“Temperance provide a great platform for the creative arts in Leamington and we look forward to working closely with Adrian as he moves the venue into the next phase in its development.”