"I am hoping to see Elland really thrive" - New bar in Calderdale celebrates its official opening

Cooper Kitchen and Bar in Elland has celebrated its official opening.

Monday, 6th December 2021, 6:36 pm
Team: Peter Duffy, Brett Rhodes, Kirsty Starkey, Richard Bentley and Damion Bentley.

The business is occupying the previous Cooper Kitchens hardware store on Southgate.

The building was originally built around 1872 and was originally part of the adjoining building, now The Heist bar, and was owned by the famous Mr Cooper Kitchen.

Born in Halifax in 1852, Cooper was a well known Ironmonger, mill furnisher and bicycle manufacturer of Elland.

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The outside of the building

He produced in the region of 10 different models of tricycle, bicycle, and penny-farthing to include the popular Elland Anti-vibration safety bicycle – a life size replica of which is now on display behind the bar in Coopers.

The hardware store was bought in 2019 by Rhodes Joinery & Building Services, an Elland based company, who had already purchased Unit 2, The Wheatsheaf on Briggate, in 2018, refurbishing the property completely into the company's new offices.

The refurbishment of what is now Cooper Kitchen and Bar was slowed due to the Covid pandemic, with efforts concentrating more on Roots Wholefoods.

The company say they have tried to refurbish the property sympathetically in keeping with local history and have also commissioned local artist, Richard Everett, to paint a huge mural wall consisting of well known local places and photographs taken over the years.

Brett Rhodes, Managing Director of Rhodes Joinery and Building Services, said: "Elland has real potential. It really does have some great independent shops, pubs and bars that are a credit to their owners not to mention the Rex cinema.

"After the success of Roots Wholefoods we hope Coopers also fits in well and gives people another welcoming place to visit with friends and family.

"We've had a lot of local support over the years including when we set up Roots Wholefoods and it’s great to be able to give back again in some way with Coopers. We have a great manager in charge of Coopers, Kirsty Starkey, who has a great team put together and we can’t wait to open the doors and welcome everyone."

Damion Bentley, Domestic Manager of Rhodes Joinery and Building Services, said: "It’s great to see the end finally in sight. It’s honestly been a fantastic project even with the delays and setbacks over the last two years and we have a great team working for us at Rhodes Joinery.

"The aim was to make something that should appeal to everyone but in keeping with the history of the building and I hope we have achieved that. The whole team should be very proud."

Kirsty Starkey, bar manager, said: "I have 15 years experience in the pub trade, managing the Roundhill Inn with my husband and then went on to taking on the supervisor role at Jeremys in Brighouse.

"I have built up lots of friendships with customers over the time and believe this is very important.

"I decided it was time to move on and when I saw Coopers was starting up as a kitchen and bar and needed a manager, i thought it was exciting and took on the challenge.

"I like how Elland is progressing with new bars, cafes, independent shops and lots of support amongst other businesses within the area.

"Coopers will attract people of all ages I believe, the history side of it is amazing.

"A nice warm atmosphere in the day, where coffee/ teas and cakes will be available, a bit more vibrant on the evening with live music on weekends. We are also dog friendly in the downstairs area.

"Coopers will be giving local people in Elland full and part time work, including myself it will create 10 jobs.

"I am hoping to see Elland really thrive and make it a place for people to want to visit."