A wine bar in a 14th-century building opens today after a three-year battle to get it off the ground.
The Tudor Peacock in Chilham, on the village square, has faced a series of setbacks, including fears over screeching chairs, but welcomes guests for the first time on Friday, and will only sell alcohol made in Kent.
Co-owners Nick Mogford and Greg Taylor say they’re relieved the doors will finally open.
Mr Mogford said: “It’s been a really long process but we persevered and we’ve had so much support which has been great.
“The build process itself hasn’t gone without challenge because you’re renovating a 14th-century building, you have to respect that but we think we’ve breathed life into the building.
Planning permission was refused in February 2022, amid noise fears.
One objector voiced their concerns over the sound of chairs on the building's stone floor, commenting: "This screeching cannot be regulated and will provide a constant and distressing strain on the mental health of any neighbouring resident.”
Other fears included a lack of parking in the often-full village square, and the fact there are already drinking establishments in the square.
However, in August the project was given the green light, with the community backing the plans, including a local landlord who said it would be an interesting addition to the village.
Mr Mogford says support for the business was and continues to be forthcoming.
“It only felt like there were three or four objectors – everyone else was super supportive,”
“But those who objected did so the loudest, we’ve soundproofed the building to within an inch of its life to try and tackle that issue.
“People coming in can expect great wine and great service in a beautiful setting – we hope people will find it as magical as we do.”
The distinctive building used to be a gift shop and renovations include a glass floor and soundproofing.
The, which has about 30 investors, currently has 40 Kentish wines available, with plans for many more.
Mr Mogford and Mr Taylor will manage the shop alongside their spouses, Jeanine Mogford and Christian Magg.
The Tudor Peacock is between 10am and 6pm from Sunday to Thursday, and 10am to 8pm on Fridays and Saturdays.