VIVA LAS SOLIHULL: Creative dad builds incredible Las Vegas themed bar in his family’s back garden
If you cant go on holiday, bring the holiday to you - A creative family who were missing weekends down the pub during lockdown have built a stunning Las Vegas-themed sports bar in their back garden.
Carpenter John O’Grady has forked out around £50,000 creating the ultimate DIY boozer with the help of relatives - complete with jukebox, pool table and huge TVs.
The dad-of-four came up with the ingenious way to beat lockdown boredom after the family business came to a standstill during the pandemic.
So John decided to make his life-long dream come true and built his own fully-functioning bar from scratch - with all nine family members chipping in.
The incredible homemade pub took just over four months to complete with the O'Grady's starting the project mid May and finishing in late September.
Inspired by Las Vegas and other places they have visited, it has draught beer pumps, a fully-stocked bar, jukebox, pool table, darts board and three TVs.
They also enlisted the help of a graffiti artist friend, who has decorated the whole 12m (39ft) x 6m (19ft) outbuilding with stunning murals of Vegas landmarks.
O’Grady’s Bar boasts two smartly decked-out sitting areas where they can enjoy a game of poker or a few drinks while watching football on the TV.
There's also Wifi, a toilet with plumbed in Saniflow system, neon lighting, running water, central heating and is fully insulated.
The family-of-nine includes John's four kids, his son's girlfriend and his mum and dad who all live together in Solihull.
They said building the state-of-the-art bar had kept them busy over the past few months and had been an ideal way to cheer them all up during lockdown.
John, 46, said: "I'd always wanted one of those pub sheds but I thought we'd take it to the next level and just build a pub from scratch.
"We just wanted a room where we could all just go and relax with a drink and enjoy playing pool or darts.
"I have always wanted to do it but we had just been so busy with work as we run a small little family business.
“We just never got around to it so when the pandemic started we had some time on our hands.
"We decided then to build what we had always wanted down the bottom of the garden - our very own bar.
“We’re quite proud of it but no one has seen it in person. We have been stunned by the reaction from people who have seen pictures. They just can't believe it.
“I have got friends who have built them and now I feel awful when they compare it to ours. But everyone is excited now to come and have a look.
"We're looking forward to spending time there with our friends once this is all over.
"I can't see us going to the pub much anymore though now we have our very own at the end of the garden."
John's children Alex, 23, Thomas, 17, Alfie, 13, and eight-year-old Scarlett and wife Shell, 46, all got fully involved in the project.
His mother Margaret, 67, and father Tom, 71, have also lived with the family for the last 10 years along with eldest son’s Alex’s partner 26-year-old Jade.
John added: "It has all been one big family effort and has created brilliant memories and we know we are very lucky as we understand people have had it very tough.
“We’ve possibly spent around £40,000 to £50,000 on it all when you add it up.
“A friend of ours called David Brown, who’s a graffiti artist from Birmingham, said he could do some walls for us.
“He knew we loved America and Vegas in particular and had a bit of memorabilia so that’s how the theme all started really.
"It’s got a projector in there now and three different TVs and it has CCTV up and around the back of the house.
“There are also fully functioning beer taps and Carling is our favourite lager so we’ve got barrels of Carling which we get from a local brewery.
“The lighting is controlled by apps, it is also fully insulated and has central heating so it’s good to go in any weather.
“Last week when it was freezing we were down there till around 11pm and it was red hot so the cold is no problem at all.
“The walls are also painted with UV paints on some of them so when we turn the lights off everything comes alive in there and it looks totally different.
“We just thought we wouldn’t be going out for a few months, we just didn’t realise it was going to last for this long.”
The family, who run a fire door and risk assessment business, would always be out on a weekend but now spend their spare time down the pub a few steps away.
John added: “Before all this, we would've always gone out on a Friday and Saturday night so it’s no different for us now - we’re just down there on the nights instead.
"My wife absolutely loves it and is also very proud of it.
"She knows it’s something I have wanted and has always been supportive, she just said 'go on then if that’s what you want to do'.
“The jukebox has gone in there for her. The main thing for the younger kids was that it had Wifi.
"So as long as they have got their games down there and Wifi on the iPads they’re fine.
“The two older ones have the pool table and darts board. So everybody is happy."
Words - Sophie Wheeler SWNS
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