Tom’s Bar – 1a Castle Street

Sad News – March 2020

The bar is now closed, as it was financially unviable. Read this article in The Echo. There is little detail in the article, as Tom has remained resolutely silent.

However, this is the background, from the article: ‘The managing director of the business, Tom Owen, has provided mobile hospitality services since 2014. Tom’s Bar operates the Mobile Bar Service at Sopley Mill near Winkton and Lulworth Castle in Wareham. With the closure of his bar, it is assumed that Tom will continue with these services. Following its announced closure, Tom’s Bar has already taken down its Facebook and Instagram social media pages. Tom Owen was approached for comment but declined.’

Three of the online comments to the article perhaps give more of a clue:

  • A few of the staff told me that they all walked out as Tom treated them like crap! This is what happens to arrogant people who are above themselves.
  • Sad when a hard working guy puts his savings into a business and it fails.
  • The comment made about Tom doesn’t strike true with me. I personally found him to be a really decent person. I also from experience found that Tom’s bar wasn’t rowdy, it was a nice civilised place to enjoy food, drinks and a pleasant atmosphere. Was its demise down to malicious moaners? Sorry to see an asset to the town disappear.

From a personal point of view, I agree with another comment, that it was disappointing that they didn’t accept cash. I would have popped in occasionally.

It was always going to be difficult to succeed. With business rates and other unavoidable expenses it would mean that an enormous markup would have to be put on even a single glass of wine. Anyway, two pictures are below, taken this month. For the earlier history, scroll down.

Crockery gone. Click for a larger image

Licence approved – 19 June 2019

I quote the headline in The Echo:

Tom’s Bar given go-ahead for Christchurch despite concerns over 1am closing time

This is what the licensing lawyer said: ‘There have been no issues or complaints since it opened and it has shown everyone what the benefits will be. Mr Owen is a reputable licensed operator and has had no problems operating licences in the past.’

The approved licence allows the bar to sell alcohol and play recorded music from 9am-11pm Sunday to Wednesday, 9am-12am Thursday and 9am-1am on Fridays and Saturdays.

The complete article can be read here.


Described as the Roberta building in The Echo, Tom’s Event Bars is hoping to get a licence for their establishment in Christchurch. Not having heard of them, a search quickly revealed that they are a mobile refreshment and function company. It is very impressive, with eight (100%) 5-star Google reviews and an excellent website and Facebook page.

This is from their Facebook site, showing the opening times for w/c 3 June and the licence restrictions.

  • Monday, Tuesday: 9-5.30pm // Food 12-5pm (we will be unable to serve alcohol on these days due to our licence)
  • Wednesday, Sunday: 9-11pm // Food 12-4pm 6-9pm
  • Thursday, Friday, Saturday: 9-12am // Food 12-4pm 6-9pm

The header image shows when it was Roberta, and was taken on 13 November 2016 during the Remembrance procession. The picture below shows it as it is now.