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Wine bar planned to open in former restaurant in Bridge, near Canterbury


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Plans have been uncorked to convert a long-empty restaurant into a “high-class” wine bar in Bridge, outside Canterbury.

Woodchurch Investments Ltd, a firm based in nearby Littlebourne, wants to turn the high street building and neighbouring garage into a new venue attracting a “wide range of clientèle”.

The redundant high street site primed to become a wine bar
The redundant high street site primed to become a wine bar

The company has its sights set on the old Skippers site, opposite the Plough and Harrow Inn.

The Grade II-listed property – previously owned by former Bridge Place businessman Peter Malkin – will undergo a refurbishment if the project is given the green light by council planners.

Opening hours at the bar would be from 8am until 1am Monday to Saturday, with the last sale of alcohol an hour before closing time.

On Sundays, the venue will open at 9am and shut at 10pm.

A planning application to convert the two premises into a bar – named the Wine Rooms – has been submitted to Canterbury City Council.

Applicants say local produce will be used
Applicants say local produce will be used
The Skippers restaurant pictured back in 2008
The Skippers restaurant pictured back in 2008

Writing on behalf of the applicant, OSG Architecture, the agent behind the project, says the scheme will benefit the village.

“Our vision is to create a high-class establishment in the former Skippers restaurant premises and adjoining garage/store that has been empty and unused for many years,” they said.

“We are very excited about this project as we believe it will compliment the existing restaurant and public houses establishments in Bridge.

“Our focus will be on excellent cuisine that is locally produced, as well as a wonderful wine experience.

“We will feature local Kent wines and food. We will provide various special functions and events.”

Those behind the scheme hope to attract a wide clientèle
Those behind the scheme hope to attract a wide clientèle

If approved, the bar will boast both indoor and outdoor seating.

“We will employ local people and we will appeal to the local community and a wide range of clientèle,” OSG added.

“In order to create the right environment we are working with local specialists to deliver an appropriate design to suit our vision for the premises which remains in keeping with the listed building and surrounding buildings.”

The applicants say the plan will “not harm the character” of the site’s surroundings and will have a “positive visual and economical impact”.

“The proposal is a well-designed scheme that is of a high quality,” they state.

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