Kash is dead. Long live Kash.
I’ve started this blog a good few times and deleted every word after a few lines because I just didn’t think they did the subject any justice. It’s hard trying to put into words what this place has meant to me over the past 6 years. It’s hard to explain how much the very existence of this place has changed me, the people around me. How it infiltrated our lives and became that something we didn’t really know we were looking for.
It’s hard, man. But I’m gonna try anyway.
Over a half a decade ago I used to frequent the old coco house on Brook Street for very different reasons. Back in the day, it was an Italian restaurant and I am not exaggerating at all when I say it was the best one in Chester. Probably in Cheshire. Arguably the known universe. Anyway. I used to go there every Sunday for a fabulous feast of different flavours and I bloody loved it. Then one day the doors were locked and the specials board stated the dreaded words: “under new management”. I was like, what the shit. My favourite place in the world was being taken over by some craft beer guys.
It’s probably worth mentioning that at this time I was only very slowly returning to the warm embrace of beer after my half a decennary long tryst with anything else alcoholic I could get my hands on. Beer wasn’t a big deal for me then. And it definitely wasn’t a big enough of a deal to close my favourite restaurant over. Bastards.
So after a few weeks of sternly glaring at the Beer Republic vans outside the place this “Kash Bar” announced they were open. I didn’t go.
Eventually I was forced to pay them a visit. Forced because I was working for this online magazine who wanted an article about it and because I lived a stone throw away from the place the job fell on my desk. So I (begrudgingly) went in for a few pints and a meal with the full intentions of hating the place and everything it stood for.
And I don’t think I ever left.
Not really, anyway.
Because even then, when the bar was tiny and at the front of the house and the walls sans psychedelic paintings and the beer was predominantly from their own brewery, Kash had that special something that grabs a hold of you and won’t let go.
On my second or so visit I met this guy who I was later going to fall madly in love with and marry. On my third or so visit I ran into this guy who was going to be my best friend in the world. And on subsequent visits I met this group of insane, intense, totally random and freaky people who became like family.
We were all spare parts, but when we came together here, in this bar, we became a part of something bigger. We belonged.
We were home.
And I absolutely place the blame for my craft beer geekiness firmly on the bar at Kash. They revived the beer lover in me and I will forever be grateful for that.
I’m not going to say it was all smooth sailing all the 6 years. There were storms. Relationships were forged, but some broke down and this place was the stage where the last acts were played out. Words that can never be taken back were spoken. There were tears and fiery brawls. Hearts were broken. Lives turned upside down.
But what you need to understand about Kash is that it was never just a bar. It was home. And you always come back home.
And Kash took us all in. The craft beer geeks, the wine fiends. The textile athletes and the grumpy brewers. Right and left. Cask and keg lovers. The goths and the hipsters. Native and foreign. We were all welcome.
Unless you were an asshole. Assholes were always shown the door.
And Kash has absolutely been an integral part in shaping the craft beer scene in Chester. They were pioneers. I remember the white washed walls of old, when the bar was at the front of the house and the beers were brewed upstairs. I remember the insane beer festivals, the magnificent movie nights, the open mics, the First Ladies of Kash, beer tastings and food pairings. Most of us locals have lost our dignity in these halls after too many pints of Spank. It’s half a decade of debauchery, at least 2 marriages, countless amount of friendships and immense amount of amazing beer.
So how does one say goodbye to something that has played such an important part in so many people’s lives?
So long and thanks for all the beer.
See you on the other side.