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Our Final Deliveries This Weekend. The End Of A Mini-Era!

Lockdown restrictions are easing next week. You know that already. The pubs are opening, we’ve been counting down the days, and we’re sure you have too!

We never planned to open during the first phase of re-opening for a couple of reasons. Firstly, we don’t have outdoor space that would be enjoyable to sit in — the pavement is too narrow, it would cause too many tuttings and congestions. Secondly, our building work was always planned to continue through this time, and we can’t really expect you to come in and enjoy yourselves while all the powertools in the world rave on in the background.

Better to wait, and open when we’re as near to perf as possible.

Launching Corto Click and Collect, and Re-Launching the Kiosk

While we get ready for opening (not long now! More news coming soon!) we’re re-launching the Corto kiosk.

Pop by every Friday and Saturday from 12pm — 6pm and Sunday from 12pm — 4pm to come in and BUY STUFF IRL!

We’ll be there to help with recommendations, to refill growlers and refillable wine bottles, and just to have a right good catch-up. Come and chat to us. We’ve missed you!

We’ll also be offering click and collect, so come by to pick up your orders during the kiosk opening times and we’ll have them ready for you.

Having Time to do the Things We Love

A big part of why both of us decided to open our own business was to give us the opportunity to pursue things we love in life. Corto is a huge part of our life now, and we’re planning to make sure we give it all of our best energy. That means setting boundaries, and opening at times that work for you and for us too.

This is our way of saying that we’re not opening on Monday because we’ll be at the pub. 

Our opening times will be updated on our website, on Google and available on our Instagram, Twitter and Facebook profiles. So don’t worry, there should never be a time when you turn up expecting to come in and we’re not there!

Looking forward to seeing you at the shop soon x

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Introducing: Corto Fermentations, your new fave snacks

Sometimes we forget that we’ve not shared some of our biggest plans with the world. We’ve got all these ideas for Corto, but we realised the other day, we’ve not been shouting about most of them yet!

Call it apprehension, extreme secretiveness or just forgetfulness — whatever it is, it’s not that helpful when we don’t tell you what we’re up to!

So. Here we are telling you one of our biggest secrets: here’s some news about our Tasty Things!

Tasty food at Corto

Corto will not only serve drinks. Our bar is heavily inspired by tapas culture and the Izakaya bars of Japan, which means yes, there will be food!

However, we’ll be using food to accentuate the amazing craft beer, natural wine and cider on our menu. Little dishes of tasty things, not hot meals, but snacks, aimed at being delicious and adding to the experience.

Instead of coming in for a meal, we hope you’ll come by for a plate of tasty things and a glass of something delicious. Our main focus is and always will be our drinks — beer, cider and wine is where our main passions are. But you can’t beat a great plate of snackies.

Think cheese from Courtyard Dairy, Dave on the market and local farms we’re working with directly. Think ham from local producers in Settle and Ilkley. Think tapas-inspired pan con tomate, and grilled cheese sarnies hot from the panini press (Tom’s main obsession in life.) Think vegan treats from amazing independent makers. Think pickles and hot sauces… 

Which brings us to our main revelation.

Corto Fermentations

We’d like to introduce you to our happy little project, Corto Fermentations!

Tom loves bringing out the incredible flavours that come from naturally fermenting vegetables and fruit. Using his 7 years of homebrewing experience he decided that making beer was too much washing up, and instead started playing with recipes for hot sauces, kimchi, sauerkraut, pickles and other good, good stuff.

Natural ferments bring out loads of different fruity flavours within the veg and adds acidity and complexity. This is the way gherkins are traditionally made! Believe it or not, there’s no vinegar in there. (Depending where you read you might also hear about probiotic benefits… but we’re not gonna claim anything. We just like how it tastes!) 

These immense pickles and sauces will accompany most of our snacks, and are made from locally grown vegetables whenever we can get them! And when we can’t, we’re locally-sourcing them.

We’re really excited about this next part of Corto and we really hope you can come and taste some of our Corto Fermentations creations soon.

Not long now, folks. Not long now.

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Corto Opening Hours After Lockdown — What’s The Plan?

Walking around the market today, it felt like everyone was a little less anxious. We chatted to Alan the Butcher and Dave Cheese, picked up a ton of plantains from the top grocers and a motherload of onions from the Burney’s. Spring’s coming. You can tell by the daffodils in their spring onion bunches, and the way that we don’t have to wear three fleeces anymore. Spring. Is. Coming!

What’s obvious in every conversation we have is that everyone is looking forward to the dates when lockdown restrictions will be eased. 

To remind you, here’s a really cool website we found.

The “roadmap” rules click into action on the following dates:

Stage 1a: March 8th

Two people from different households can meet outside for recreation, which can include “a coffee on a bench” — we assume this also means you can have a beer if you like!

Stage 1b: March 29th

People will be allowed to meet outside, either with one other household or within the “rule of six”, including in private gardens.

You know what this means? BBQs!!

The “stay at home” rule is also set to end on this date, which means while it’s probably wise to stay as local as possible, we will be able to travel for walks. Hello favourite hills we’ve not seen in months! See you soon!

Stage 2: April 12th

On this date, all shops are allowed to open. That means we’ll probably be opening our door as a little kiosk again on this week.

Restaurants and pub gardens will be allowed to serve customers sitting outdoors, including alcohol. We don’t have any outdoor space, so catch us outside The New Inn or Beer Shack for a pint and a chat…

(Libraries also open on this date, so get finishing your books. Katie.)

Stage 3: May 17th

On this date, we can meet in groups of up to 30 outdoors. Are you thinking what we’re thinking?

Picnics!

Six people or two households can meet indoors too, which means: the return of the dinner party!

Super excitingly, pubs can seat customers indoors at this date too. Now, we don’t know yet what sort of distancing or other safety measures will be in place, so we can’t tell you how it’ll work at Corto yet. What we can say is this: Corto will be opening properly as a bar sometime during the week beginning Monday 17th May.

(Also indoor sports classes start up again on this date. See you at Tessa Clemson Yoga!)

Stage 4: June 21st

The big one. All legal limits will be lifted.

We’re really looking forward to this one, because it means proper bar life. Standing at the bar. Having a bit of a dance. Enjoying yourself without worrying. We can’t wait.

Corto Progress: Update

We’re on track to open Corto as a craft beer, natural wine and cider bar in May.

A lot’s going on behind the scenes, and we’re really happy to be working with Castle Joinery who are making sure our former boutique shoe shop building becomes the super-trendy bar we want it to be!

For more regular updates and pics of the ongoing build, keep checking our Instagram.

We’ll also be sending out information on our opening dates via our newsletter first, so if you want to be the first to know all the Corto goss, make sure you subscribe.

We’re still running our Corto delivery service from the kiosk while we can’t open. We deliver beer, wine and cider for free within 6 miles of Clitheroe every Friday and Saturday, and we can deliver a bit further afield if you get in touch and let us know in advance.

Keeping It Fun, Keeping It Safe

We keep reminding ourselves that while we’re super excited to be finally opening Corto as the bar of our dreams, the pandemic is far from over. We want to make sure that we’re opening only when it’s absolutely safe to do so, and that all of our guests feel super comfortable here.

We will only open our bar if we are absolutely sure it is safe. 

Corto is meant to be a chilled place to enjoy a drink. We are going to make sure it’s chilled by working extra hard to make sure we have Covid-safe measures in place. Things like:

  • Table booking in advance made available
  • All latest government guidelines will be strictly adhered to
  • Hand gel on every table
  • Hand washing facilities available for all in our unisex bathrooms
  • Staff (Tom and Katie) will wear masks and guests will be asked to too, if legislation requires it
  • Seats will be appropriately distanced from each other, and separated with screens if legislation requires it
  • All tables, fridge doors, door handles menus, and everything else you can think of will be sanitised regularly

By the time it comes to the big Corto opening week, we’re sure many more different rules will be in place in order to keep us safe. We promise that we will take every single one of these rules seriously, and implement everything that’s relevant to a bar of Corto’s size and type. We want to keep you and ourselves safe!

So until then, take care and see you soon x

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UK Roadmap? What does that mean?

when is corto opening?

Yesterday we were feeling all kinds of nerves. The lockdown has been many things over the past 10 months (10 months!!), but in the not-to-distant future it’s about to be something we kindof felt like it might never be: OVER.

Staying safe has been our number one priority ever since we opened our little shop in December — the safety of everyone has always been at the front of our minds. Going into deliveries only territory was strange and unfamiliar, but if it meant people were safer, we were happy to do it.

Now the lockdown’s got some end dates, it’s a bit weird, isn’t it? It felt like it would go on forever. We all definitely want it to end, but now it’s going to be over we’re feeling a bit like — oh! What a surprise! Okay! Better get planning then!

So the first thing we want to chat about is our first opening dates. What does the UK Roadmap for lifting lockdown mean for Corto?

The rules, according to the BBC news explainer (which is super helpful for all aspects of life outside of lockdown btw), say the following:

  • 12th April 2021: All shops allowed to open
  • 17th May 2021: Pubs, restaurants and other hospitality venues can seat customers indoors

We weren’t sure if the law will allow “hospitality venues” to sell alcohol to take away after the 12th April. James from SIBA reckons it is though, and we trust him!

So, this means:

Corto will be open as a shop from April 12th 2021

We will be planning Corto opening parties to start from the week of May 17th 2021

So keep your eyes open for announcements in the coming weeks! We’ve got some stuff to share…

Pubs will be allowed to open up their beer gardens earlier than this, on the 12th April, but we don’t have any outdoor space so this doesn’t apply to us. No, we can’t put benches on the pavement (unless the council wants to close off the main streets to traffic for a little while for some continental vibes? Might be a shout?) 

So until May, see you in our shop, or out the back of The Swan With Two Necks with a pint of Lagonda!

Stay positive

We’re not silly. We know that things could change and dates could move, and that April and May are still months away. But for now, let’s be positive. The days are getting longer and the vaccines are working well. The end of all this is in sight. 

We’re allowing ourselves to feel a little bit lighter and a lot more excited today 🙂

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Vault City x Corto Virtual Tap Takeover

On Friday 19th February 2021 (aka. next week) we’re having our very first virtual event!

Andy Gibson from Vault City will be hosting a virtual tap takeover and tasting sesh with us, and he’s told us he’ll be happy to answer any and all questions about the brewery, the beer and how they brew it!

We’ve put together a tasting selection of four ace Vault City sour beers to drink-along on the night, some of which haven’t even been launched yet.

For £27.50 you get:

  • 1x Raspberry & Violet 7.1%
  • 1x Strawberry, Peach & Custard 10.4%
  • 1x Plum Bakewell 7%
  • 1x OJ IPA 7.2%
  • A pass to the Zoom event
The Corto and Vault City virtual tap takeover bag contains: strawberry peach custard, raspberry violet, plum bakewell and OJ IPA

We can’t wait – in fact we’re super excited about this. The fact that we’re hosting such a nerdy beer event locally seems really, really cool to us.

We thought we’d start off our first tasting session with a bang. It had to be sour beer, and we’ve loved trying all of Vault City’s beers from right at the beginning when they were brewing out of a kitchen! Now they’ve got a shiny new brewery we’ve been super jazzed to see what they come up with next.

Anyway. Join us! We can’t wait!

UNFORTUNATELY WE CANNOT SHIP OUR BOOZE NATIONALLY. Our Vault City virtual tap takeover bag will only be available via our normal local delivery routes.

If you live a little outside of our “6 miles of Clitheroe” delivery radius, get in touch. We’ll do what we can to reach you.

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The Corto Home Delivery Service

We know that quite a lot of you would like to click + collect,  but unfortunately we’re classed as a “hospitality venue” and after a few conversations with various people in the know, we’ve closed the shop to customers. (Here’s some more info on that, if you’re interested.)

However, we’re still open behind the scenes! We’re getting delicious new stock in all the time, and you can get your hands on it in a number of different ways. 

Check out our new webshop for our full availability.

Continue reading The Corto Home Delivery Service
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Cosy Boxes! Take Corto Home and have a Cosy Night In

Like every hospitality business in the country, we’ve been pulling the most interesting faces trying to figure out how best to get our delicious drinks to you this week.

We’ve made a few changes to how the shop looks, and we’ve also made a few additional changes to make it a bit easier for you to pick some ideal things to drink for your Big Cosy Weekends In.

We might be back in lockdown, but we can’t let that beat us. We’ve had a bit of a yell and a bit of a strop, and now we’re ready to get back to spreading positivity. LET’S DO THIS!

Continue reading Cosy Boxes! Take Corto Home and have a Cosy Night In
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Corto (the shop)’s New Year Opening Times

We thought it was about time, since we’ve been open for a week or so now, to let you know when we’ll be open over the next few weeks.

It’s still a festive time, after all, and we know you need to re-stock those fridges with beer, cider and bubbly. (We’ve got some ace natural fizz in by the way…)

Continue reading Corto (the shop)’s New Year Opening Times
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Woohoo! The Corto Shop is Opening on Saturday 19th December 2020

We’re OVERJOYED and OVEREXCITED to tell you that we’re opening Corto as a shop on Saturday 19th December from 11am – 6pm.

Has anything good happened in 2020? Well, lots of great beer, wine and cider was made. So we want to share it with you.

We’re getting a temporary wall in place so you don’t get covered in building dust or fall down any holes, and the front of the bar is being turned entirely into a shop, selling natural wine, natural cider and perry, and a whole massive selection of brilliant beers.

We’ll also be serving hot and cosy mulled cider, made by us with cider from Udders Cider in Huddersfield.

Come in, say hello, don’t be shy. Have a little nosey. Ask a bunch of questions. We’re here for you!

Whatever you like, we’ll find you something you’ll love!