#8 - Gareth Lymer - The Crossing

Gaz, The Man Behind The Crossing: Pints, Perseverance, and a Passion for People

The Crossing Micro Pub Hest Bank

At the point where West Coast Main Line kisses the shore of the west coast at Hest Bank, nestled amidst spectacular vistas that change with every passing day, sits a unique micro pub: The Crossing. The Crossing's inception, growth, and enduring appeal owe much to the passion and persistence of its owner, Gaz.
Originally from Stoke on Trent, Gaz moved to Morecambe 26 years ago and has been shaping the local hospitality industry ever since. "I've run various pubs for other people all around the bay," he recounts, highlighting stints at The Globe at Overton, The Albion at Arnside, and others, before finally acquiring the current building that houses The Crossing.
The journey to The Crossing's opening wasn't all smooth sailing. When asked about challenges faced, Gaz fondly remembers wrestling with soundproofing, bureaucratic red tape, and even Network Rail, who initially baulked at the idea of a pub next to their line. But Gaz's tenacity and his unique vision for the establishment ultimately won over. "We're not your normal kind of run of the stream pub," he declares. "We serve beer. We don't do Sky Sports, fruit machines, music. We don't do kids... we do dogs... that's where we are."
The Crossing's uniqueness extends beyond its services; Gaz recounts how he had to innovate when transforming the former café into a pub. "We had to move the cellar. But we had two rooms downstairs that were ideal for the temperature". In our short video interview with Gaz, when asked about his "superpower" he mentions his "cellar work" as something he's proud of and evidently his commitment to providing the perfect environment for their beers has contributed to the success of The Crossing.
When it comes to personal achievements, Gaz proudly points to The Crossing's accolades. "The best contribution we had was when we won that award," he says, referring to Lunesdale CAMRA awarding The Crossing Pub of the Year 2023, that took even Gaz by surprise. "I had no idea. No one told me, no pre-warning"
However, running The Crossing isn't just about awards or the number of pints sold. Gaz's love for the hospitality industry is deeply intertwined with his affection for the people it serves. "My personal contribution is hospitality. In this area... it's in my veins, it's in my blood," he declares.
The Crossing's contribution to the local community extends beyond its doors. Gaz reveals they continued to serve their clientele during the COVID-19 lockdowns, delivering beers in two-pint containers and even adapting to provide an outside seating service. "We did a delivery service to the local areas and the two-pint containers"
Looking forward, Gaz finds his motivation in the people who frequent The Crossing. "The people we get in here, as you guys know from your own experiences, they're just lovely people. Everyone asks 'How is your mum and dad', you know, and stuff like that."
No doubt, The Crossing is more than just a micro pub. It's a labour of love, a testament to Gaz's dedication to hospitality, and an integral part of the Morecambe Bay community. And as long as Gaz is at the helm, it will continue to be a place where good beer, genuine connections, and a passion for people reign supreme.
We're thrilled to share some exciting news about a new addition to our lovely Hest Bank community. Right across from The Crossing, our very own venture, Carrington's Coffee Co., is set to launch an exclusive retail outlet, a brand new business from it's co-founders, this September. We see it as another testament to the unique hospitality offerings emerging in our beloved village, all inspired by the entrepreneurial spirit and shared love we all have for Hest Bank.
As the co-founders of Carrington's Coffee Co., we, Suzy and Alex, have a dream to create a space as welcoming and beloved as Gaz's incredible pub. Our new outlet will become a destination for coffee lovers, offering a chance to indulge in specialty coffee and shop our full range of Carrington's products, from freshly roasted beans to coffee gadgets and inspiring "Fuelling the Bold" merchandise. Plus, we're making shopping even more convenient by allowing the Hest Bank outlet to serve as a pick-up point for online orders. This unique in-store experience is something we're thrilled to bring to Morecambe Bay.

Reflecting on our first year here in Hest Bank, we have to acknowledge how warmly we were welcomed by Gaz and the community, including our dog Sydney. We're in awe of The Crossing, its success in winning Pub of the Year, and we're rooting for it to achieve the status of National Pub of the Year. Our aspiration is to contribute to the buzz around Hest Bank with our coffee shop, enriching the visitor experience whether you're just passing through, heading on over to The Crossing, or enjoying a leisurely visit.

Gaz has shown us all with The Crossing that small businesses with a focus on quality and hospitality can greatly enrich our community. We aim to continue this trend with Carrington's Coffee Co., adding our unique flavour to the Hest Bank experience. Just as Gaz and The Crossing have brewed up a storm with their pints, we hope to do the same with our specialty coffee. We believe it's this shared vision and sense of community that truly makes Hest Bank an unforgettable destination. So, let's raise a pint—or a cup of coffee—to our shared future.

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