Not from a plan, but from a man - Back To Britain Pub

April 27, 2018


Custom artisan home pubs crafted in an old English style – a lost art reborn from the hands of one man and the mind of one woman.


In an era of fine lines and cookie cutter designs, there is a business in Chemainus that aims to bring the charm of English inspiration and authenticity to life. A business so talented you truly believe you’re stepping into a British countryside. Back to Britain Pubs is not a place to get good beer, nor is it a museum, or even a modular builder of pubs; they are more, much more. They are transporters of worlds in your very own home that create and build the custom British pub of your dreams to usher you in to a forgotten era of good times, and beautiful designs. 


Sandy Pollard and Mark Myers are the inspiration spurring an idea forward that is catching fire in the region. Mark, the artisan woodworker that he is, envisions beautiful home pubs for those wanting some rustic elegance in their home, whether it’s a centre piece or an entire room. These builds are absolutely stunning and you would be lucky to have one in your home. Even if you like the clean lines of sleek, modern design and the abruptness of glass and metal, there is something about these home builds that evokes a charm for anyone to fall in love with.


The showroom reads like a museum and a teleportation corridor all at once. The beauty of the custom bar sets brings you right into an English pub, while many small curiosities and vintage era pieces of varying interest line the shelves, bars, and cabinets.No detail goes unmissed and everything piques interest with just one glance. Your instantly drawn in not only to the item but the history and story behind it, because everything here has a story in here, and everything a purpose. Every glass, tin or mirror tells a story, even something as unassuming a bench which is coloured in deep history and antiquity with a detailed story. In is current pristine condition you would never know it sat heavily used as an old church pew before being sold off, only to be weathered outside of an establishment for a dozen years in the elements. Forgotten and lost to anyone other than Mark, he could see the beauty in the fine detail, the dovetail seams and wood grain worn from love before its abandonment. Needing to have it and tell its story, bring it a renewed purpose and life this was not something that could be left to be scraps for a fire or rotten into nothingness. Instead, Mark had another idea for it. Up cycle its beauty and restorative its rarity, a common thread you see through so much of their work. After being dried and polished, this 70 years old bench was revived to its former glory and sits with a jumbled history waiting for the perfect bar to call home. This is just one of the many hundreds of stories lining these walls waiting for a second life. But, don't get us wrong its not all up cycle and unique finds, so much of what happens here is the merger of new hand craftsmanship and old perfection to make the perfect authentic space for your home. This ambitious duo truly know how to make a mark and want to see this following grow within the Valley. When asked what they would like to see in five years their idea is simple: have a following of home pub owners that host home pub crawls and create a wave of excitement for other owners which would grow into a following. Now, that is something we can cheers to and apparently so can many others.


Sandy, his partner and business visionary, foresaw the business well before it came to fruition, seeing as Mark has a long history of constantly having a home pub build on the go. From his initial rock wall installations in a rental in Chilliwack to more and more custom features for family and friends, this once budding passion has grown in prestige gaining so much momentum and popularity that it has now grown to a full time business with a showroom servicing the region. 

They did not set out to have a showroom or a business, and in fact envisioned plans for retirement. It was all chance and opportunity that led them not only to turning a life long passion into a business, but to Chemainus itself. A close family friend looking to relocate discovered this beautiful blue building in a small town called Chemainus. Although she loved it, it did not fit her needs and when speaking to Mark the idea solidified. This was the place his passion and dreams would become a reality, but that meant relocating their life from Chilliwack to the island, and having never been here the question was, is this the right move for two people living the best years of their lives surrounded by family and friends. The answer upon visiting the town and seeing the potential became a resounding “yes” upon their arrival. Never looking back, this move has these two loving the hiking trails close by, the beaches almost in their backyard and the opportunity to live a passion that so few get to truly experience. Every pub is a little piece of Mark’s being that he puts into these homes and every piece is loved and adored. When asked what people said about them, the comments are enough to convince even the harshest of critics. You see the real difference here is not the carpentry or even style of it all, it is the passion and evolution of old pieces which sets of a cascade of inspiration, leading to an original design that absolutely goes beyond expectation. Anyone woodworker can cut, measure, and glue, but this is what sets Mark into the category of Artisan builder. He is able to take an old, lead stained glass window and envision the bar it will be set into, the way the wood will curve around to house this eighty-year-old piece. After it is set and the bar is built and in the home, Mark can come in to further create, sculpt and artistically craft the space, transporting you to an authentic era of British pubs. But these pubs take time, craftsmanship and love; that means the showroom is by appointment with the exception of Wednesday and Fridays. Come take a look at the beauty of what they can create and be transported to a sacred tine where life was simple and design never looked so good. 

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