Residents in Derby have a new bar and shop thanks to two former postmen who shared the same dream of one day running their own business.

From delivering mail together, to discussing their dreams in the work canteen, to then making it a reality, Tom Ainsley and Josh Mellor have now opened Suds and Soda in the heart of Derby’s Cathedral Quarter.

Based in Friar Gate, the hot spot for Derby bars and nightclubs, Suds & Soda prides itself on its ales from emerging breweries in the area and has already sold 30 kegs in just 22 days since opening.

It also caters for customers with restricted diets by offering a range of gluten-free beers.

Video: Tom Ainsley, owner of Suds & Soda, talks about the bar and shop.

The trendy bar and shop are open from Tuesday to Sunday, and have so far received rave reviews from customers.

Satisfied customer James Walsh said; “It was really nice, it wasn’t obviously too loud, you could have a chat and not have to shout over music and people shouting and screaming.”

Another customer expressed his delight at being able to find a place that can provide him gluten free beers. Akintola Watts said; Not many people or places in Derby sell these gluten free beers, so to have that kind of range, that’s what i’m looking for and I was happy that I could find it.”

Video: Customer Akintola Watts talking about his gluten free beer.


The name for the business came from the popular film Shawshank Redemption, starring Morgan Freeman.

Tom said; “In the film Shawshank Redemption there’s a scene where it’s mentioned that ‘Suds’ is a beer, and Suds & Soda is Belgian slang for shandy so we put that together.

“Independently we both thought this was a good idea and so now finally we have got together and taken the chance. It’s a dream we’ve shared and so now we’ve done it.”

Suds & Soda opening times


Monday: Closed

Tuesday: 11AM-11PM

Wednesday: 11AM-12AM

Thursday: 11AM-12AM

Friday: 11AM-1AM

Saturday: 11AM-1AM

Sunday: 12-10PM

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