Dark Star Brewing Co, the Sussex-based brewer and pub operator, has secured the first site for its new Bottle Shop and Tasting Room concept in Crawley.

The four-strong group has secured the old electric shop on the town’s high street for the new format, which it hopes to roll out alongside it pub concept depending on site and opportunity.

The company, which hopes to open 20 sites over the next five years, said the new site would operate under the name The General Store and offer a “wide selection of drinks to enjoy on and off site, along with a range of cheese and charcuterie”.

Heath Ball of Dark Star said: “Crawley has always been a priority for us, it was a case of finding the right site and then creating the right offer. This is less of a bar and more of a hybrid between a great off licence and a place people can explore a great range of beer and wines with a little something to eat.

“We’ll be introducing a huge range of beer on Cask, Keg, Bottle and Can as well as a growler fill station. Alongside the beer, we’ll have a world class wine offer and a great selection of spirits.”

The General Store, which is set to open in early summer, will also offer a wide selection of beer related merchandise, home brewing kits and other beer related items. There will also be a local delivery service, bringing craft beer and wines direct to homes in the area.

The General Store joins Dark Star’s estate, which includes two pubs they opened last year: The Anchor Tap in Horsham and The Lockhart Tavern in Haywards Heath as well as the two they operated before that, The Evening Star, Brighton and The Partridge in Partridge Green.

The Evening Star is currently being refurbished and will reopen on 13 March.

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