It’s on the house!

It’s on the house!

A pensioner has spent £20,000 building a pub – in the cupboard under his stairs.

All drinks are on the house in the hallway belonging to Mick Waite, 66, who has spent the last three years creating the labour of love – complete with two cask ales, working optics and traditional 1930s wooden panelling.

Mr Waite, a retired construction worker from York, said: “I was born in a pub and I’ve spent most of my life in them so it’s where I really feel at home.

“When I retired I was at a loss and I’m a good joiner so I thought what better way to spend my days than to build my very own pub.

“I now spend most of my day sitting at the bar and whether I’m drinking coffee or drinking beer, I get to do it in the confines of my very own pub.”

The house-pub, called The Midnight Bell, houses vintage photographs and plaques from his parents’ former pub, The John Bull in Layerthorpe, North Yorks.

“It looks very authentic, just like any other traditional pub you’d walk into,” said Mr Waite

“I think it’s a great use for a hallway however – most people just walk across their hallway to get upstairs but I can sit down and enjoy a pint in mine.

“I’ve tried to match everything to the 1930s era as I love that time, and the rest of my house is fashioned around then.”

With six bar stools in Mr Waite’s local, he can even draw a small crowd, much to the amusement of friends and family who enjoy popping round for the odd tipple.

He said: “It’s quite a surprise for people when they walk through the door – and then of course they all want a free drink.

“It’s a nice feature to have in your own home and I’ve either added £30,000 to the value of the house if I sell it to a real-ale fan, or knocked £30,000 off.

“I suppose it is a little strange, but people do strange things, and it’s just a little bit quirky.”

Mr Waite’s hobby is supported by a 13-year part-time career at York Brewery.

He added: “I used to go into the brewery’s bar and when I struggled to get full-time work in the construction industry, I got a job doing brewery tours.

“I know all about making beer, and I know a fair bit about drinking it too.”