Former Smiths bassist Dale Hibbert is opening a vegan café and coffee house in what was once a popular Irish pub.
Dale Hibbert, who played bass in the original Smiths line-up, is now a gourmet vegan chef. He and his wife are opening a vegan café and coffee house in what was once a popular Irish pub.
Immediately after seeing the premises of the former Kings Arms in Bangor on sale, the couple decided to buy it at auction. Speaking to the Daily Post, Dale said: “Sometimes you know as soon as you walk into a place that it is right. You just fall in love with it. This is what happened here, even with all the mess around. There was something about the place that was special.”
Following the purchase, the two of them invested £150,000 into renovating the property. The once-rundown building has been transformed; it is now called Domu and has a homely, hopeful atmosphere.
The site is dear to a great many locals and the Hibberts are aware of the place’s history. “Everyone knew this place as a pub,” said Dale. “I have not spoken to anyone in this area who has not been there at some point and doesn’t have some memories from there.” They aim to get the same people excited about the new renovation.
Dale has been in the café business for 20 years. Over that time he has watched vegetarian and vegan cuisine develop into what it is today. Having been vegetarian since the age of four, he is excited about the future of meat-free dining.
“When I was younger, vegetarian food was basically just someone scraping the meat off a meal and serving it,’ he said. ‘It has changed so much and now you have Michelin chefs focusing menus purely on vegan food. We think this is a market that will keep on growing and we think we’ll do well in Bangor.”
The café will open on August 1st on the Bangor High Street.