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Bar owners spill over into menswear store

Two brothers who own a wine bar called Hash in Darlington, County Durham, have launched a premium menswear store under the same name in the nearby town of Yarm in North Yorkshire.

James and Philip Robson are looking to replicate the success of their Hash wine bar, which they launched three years ago, and will target their bar customers with the menswear concept.

James Robson said: “People know the business and Hash is a strong brand. The bar is the kind of place we like to drink in and the new store sells the kind of clothes we wear.”

The 2,000sq ft store, in Yarm’s High Street, stocks brands such as Lacoste, Baracuta, Pringle 1815, J Lindeberg, Nicole Farhi and Original Penguin.

“We will be introducing new labels for autumn 08, including Fjällräven, and Baillo jackets, a range of Italian hunting jackets new to the UK. We want to be niche, but not too pricey,” said James.

He added: “We want to hit the 25-plus age market, and it’s not about labels but about quality and offering something different.”

The brothers are also aiming to capitalise on the lucrative footballer market by drawing in players from the nearby football clubs in Middlesbrough, Sunderland and Newcastle.

James spent 15 years in retail prior to opening the wine bar. He worked for Strides Menswear in Durham in various roles including on the shop floor, in buying and in management. He said: “I spent three years working at the bar, and it was running itself. I was looking for a new challenge.”

The Hash Clothing store will carry the same logo as the wine bar. Music played in the bar will also be sold in the store.
James said: “We are well known for our music in the bar, which we source directly from record labels, and we wanted to bring that to the shop. We will also sell books, comics and local artwork.”

To help set up the store, the brothers used financial advisory firm Clive Owen & Co.

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