Anyone who has walked down upper Thames Street in the early morning has encountered the staff of the Brick Alley Pub quietly working along the street and up the alley sweeping and washing down the sidewalk, picking up litter and tending the window boxes. These actions that they do on a regular basis are a testament to their commitment to hospitality and civic pride.
This philosophy of embracing the exterior of the restaurant with the same detail to excellence that is their hallmark in the kitchen and front of the house, is a benchmark set in 1980 when owner Matt Plumb’s parents opened Brick Alley. “When my parents opened the Brick Alley Pub, this section of town needed a big pick me up,’ says Matt. “My mom and dad were very clear that this was their business, but it was also their town. They had pride of both and made a commitment that the outside would always reflect their pride of place. To this day in the summer if you come on down you will see my dad out there still doing his part.”
But as Matt explains, it is not only the commitment to his business or the city he calls home that motivate his actions, it is common sense. He believes that the exterior of a business influences how a business is perceived. If a front entrance is unkempt and dirty what does that tell potential customers about the inside of the establishment? Do employees feel good about their work environment as they walk through the doors every day? What impression do neighbors have if a business does not care for their exterior environment? As visitors walk our streets, are we contributing to a clean and appealing environment or are they leaving with a negative impression of our civic cleanliness? And what about our natural environment, what does it tell our children about our commitment to it?
“We are the City. We are the ones who benefit from our local customers, tourists and the business they bring, the least we can do is take care of our sidewalks. People will not visit places that are dirty, and we don’t want Newport to have that reputation,” says Matt. Although the maintenance may be time consuming and costly, it is an investment that is noticed and very much appreciated by customers, visitors and residents alike. Matt talks about how people will walk up to him in the grocery store or when he is out and about and thank him for the efforts he and his staff make. Brick Alley Pub’s respect for their home town and business is clear to see and their efforts should serve as both a model and an inspiration to other businesses in Newport. Thank you, Brick Alley Pub team, for taking care of the place we call home!