Victorian-themed gin bar gets go ahead to open in Chester

Providence Gin, described as a ‘Victorian specialist gin bar, shop and tasting room’, is to open on Watergate Street

Chester is set to get a new Victorian-themed gin bar after plans to repurpose a former coffee shop were given the go ahead. Providence Gin, which describes itself as a ‘gin retail and entertainment experience’, will open on Watergate Street in the city after plans were approved by Cheshire West and Chester Council.

Providence Gin takes its name from the building where it will be based – the Grade II Listed God’s Providence House on Watergate Street, Chester. The premises were formerly occupied by the Barista’s Coffee Co.

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The premises licence application for the new venue described the venue as a ‘Victorian specialist gin bar, shop and tasting room’. Preston-based SBNW, which specialises in pubs and bars, submitted the licence application back in March, with a full planning application submitted in April, specifying that the change of use was to turn it into a gin shop and tasting venue rather than a pub.

The application, submitted by Planning Angel Ltd (PAL), on behalf of Robin Evans for SBNW Ltd, stated: “This planning application seeks approval for the change of use of the ground floor former coffee shop premises into ‘Providence Gin’, a Victorian specialist gin bar, shop and tasting room.

“The core offer will be 500 gins, gin experiences, tastings, a gin shop, gin brunches, gin teas and day-to-day general trade. No works to the exterior elevations. The floorspace will be reconfigured to create an additional WC, but predominantly remain unchanged and segregated into separate spaces.

“Externally the front elevation that faces Watergate Street will retain the existing large shopfront fenestration and the proposed internal use of the building will not be seen as out of character for the area.”

The application concluded: “The business idea can best be described as a gin retail and entertainment experience. Such a concept is in line with current thinking on how to make retail work within a challenging high street shopping environment and to create more destinations that stimulate the evening economy, drawing people to stay longer and support a variety of businesses within the city centre.”

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Recommending approval, a report by a Cheshire West and Chester Council planning officer Helen Jameson said that the venue would offer “a specialist visitor experience”, bringing a previously empty unit back into use, increasing footfall and making “a positive contribution to the long-term vitality and viability of the area”.

The application was formally approved by the council on Friday July 29, with the venue given consent to open between the hours of 8am to midnight Sunday to Thursday and 8am to 1am on Fridays and Saturdays.


  • 11:22, 2 AUG 2022

1 Comment on "Victorian-themed gin bar gets go ahead to open in Chester"

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