A COUPLE have bought the Newquay bar where they fell in love seven years ago.
Richard Bell and Charlotte Hankin couldn't resist snapping up Bar Help, in Central Square, when it went on the market with a guide price of £45,000 at the end of last year, having gone into administration under previous owners.
The pair have now embarked on a three-month renovation project.
"We had lots of discussions on whether to buy Help but both our hearts are in this place," said Charlotte, 28.
"It's where we met and because of this we're hopelessly devoted to it, and to each other. We have many happy memories here and see a very bright, happy future."
Richard, 41, managed the bar when it opened in 2004 and Charlotte was a photographer and part-time DJ for both Bar Help and nearby Salt, formerly The Beach.
The pair, who have a son, Dylan, had a break from working at the venue in 2008 but couldn't stay away for long.
"We realised this is where our hearts lie and we only live once, so let's go for it," said Charlotte. "We had a lot of support from locals as well as from friends and family, and even the estate agents.
"It was all very heartwarming, I have to say."
The pair have vowed to make Bar Help a venue for local people with plenty of offers and entertainment, including karaoke, poker nights and pool tournaments. "We aim to provide locals with somewhere they can go all year round and still get the same service and prices all year," said Charlotte. "We want to turn it back into the fun pub it used to be."
The pair say they are not concerned by Newquay's apparently dwindling nightlife and the diminishing number of venues.
Bar Help was put into administration at the same time as Salt nightclub, and the nearby Chy Bar and Koola Club is also on the market for around £1.5 million.
"The nightlife in Newquay is still there and our focus is on the locals," said Charlotte. "However, we do feel that the demolishing of hotels is having a knock-on effect.
"People don't come on holiday to the area as they used to and we feel it's partly due to the change from hotels into apartments; there aren't as many facilities available to accommodate family or couples any more."
See www.facebook.com/BarHelpNewquay for more on the revived venue.