ALE enthusiasts could soon be raising a glass to celebrate the opening of a new micropub.

Best friends James Martin and Craig Egan are hoping that their venture — Nook and Cranny — will prove a big hit in Bromley Cross, if plans are given the go-ahead by Bolton Council.

The pair, from Astley Bridge, want to convert a former florists at the shopping parade in Darwen Road to offer beer fans a ‘boutique experience’.

Mr Egan currently works for the Bank Top Brewery, where Mr Martin also used to work, and is hoping their micropub could help promote local breweries.

He said: “We have a good history with craft ales and real ales.

“It’s not a pub, it is more of a bottle shop and tasting room — it will be a boutique experience for our customers. We will be specialising in beers that aren’t sold in supermarkets and we definitely want to help promote local breweries.

“But we are free to choose from anywhere we want to all over the country, or all over the world. We are going to be working hard to keep the variety up.”

Since news of the plans broke on social media last week, Bromley Cross residents have responded enthusiastically to the idea of bringing the vacant retail unit back into use.

Mr Egan, aged 31, added: “We have been overwhelmed by the support we have had so far.

“I got a text last week saying that we were all over Facebook and it has been amazing to see the positive response — we are absolutely made up about it.

“We have been trying to find a location for the past two years and we feel like this is the ideal place. I don’t think Bromley Cross is really well served in this particular market, so this is a really good opportunity for us and we hope it will be popular.”

Similar micropubs — Bunbury’s in Chorley Old Road and Tap and Cork in Horwich — have proved popular with drinkers since opening.