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Bar and live music venue plans for empty shop in Snargate Street, Dover

A new music bar is set to revive a “forgotten” part of town and give up-and-coming bands a chance to take to the stage.

Plans have been submitted for a venue in Snargate Steet, Dover, which will serve drinks named after rock tracks such as Iron Maiden’s Trooper and Motörhead's Road Crew.

A company called Dracula Parrot Ltd wants to turn this property in Snargate Street, Dover, into a bar
A company called Dracula Parrot Ltd wants to turn this property in Snargate Street, Dover, into a bar

Some neighbours are concerned about the potential noise levels and issues with parking – but bosses behind the proposals say they want to help “bring business back to the area”.

If permission is granted, the new bar would play both live and recorded music in styles such as punk, rock, metal, ska and goth. The application reveals it would be called The Dracula Parrot.

The venture is listed as coming from a Folkestone-based company The Dracula Parrot Ltd and would be its first such enterprise.

Director John Biggs told KentOnline: “We are trying to set up an alternative venue where local bands can play their original material.

“It would be a small venue for up-and-coming bands like The Marquee used to be in central London.

“We also feel Snargate Street has become a forgotten area when it was once a main thoroughfare with several pubs. So we want to help bring back business to the area.”

The new gig venue is planned for Snargate Street in Dover
The new gig venue is planned for Snargate Street in Dover

The company put in a planning application to Dover District Council last week.

It is seeking opening hours of 11am to midnight on Mondays to Saturdays and midday to 10.30pm on Sundays and Bank Holidays.

Music would be performed in a warehouse behind the shop front.

The venue, on a 111.70sq m (1,202 sq ft) would replace an antique shop called Little Puffin Vintage, which closed last March.

The application has so far drawn four objections on the council’s planning portal with six supporting comments.

Writing in response to the application, Robin Burkhardt said: “The building is not big enough for a music venue. There is no parking in this area.

“The building is surrounded by residential flats and in which case would need to be soundproofed.

“Although Snargate Street needs new businesses I feel as a resident that this is not something that would be recommended there.”

Neighbour Gareth Pearce wrote on the portal: “There are very few parking spaces currently in Snargate Street. The residents and businesses there have very limited parking and this proposed new bar will only add to an already desperate problem.

“When the Masonic Lodge and Bluebirds Function Rooms (on the same street) hold events/functions/parties often on the same days, it is impossible for the residents to find a place to park their cars even though we pay for parking permits.

“I also think that the noise from the bar will disturb the current residents.”

Snargate Street was once a key road in Dover, leading straight to the Western Docks and teeming with local businesses.

The logo for The Dracula Parrot. Picture: The Dracula Parrot Ltd
The logo for The Dracula Parrot. Picture: The Dracula Parrot Ltd

Its pubs included The Arlington, billed as Kent’s smallest pub.

The entire southern side was knocked down leaving existing businesses on a slip road after the A20 expansion opened there in November 1993.

Snargate Street and its wider area has been redeveloped in recent years – with Dover’s fourth Costa Coffee set to open in the street later this year.

Changes have been happening particularly with the £250 million Dover Western Docks Revival development by the Port of Dover.

That has brought in new features to an area in the part of town previously used as the main crossing point to the Continent.

These include the Marina Pier which opened in 2019 and Clock Tower Square with food stalls which arrived in 2021.

The Dracula Parrot would be set away from the main town centre precinct with its concentration of bars and pubs such as The Eight Bells, the Elephant and Hind and The Art Club, which also hosts live bands.

But it is still only a few minutes’ walk from that area and public parking at Albany Place, the seafront and Stembrook.

It is also a short distance from The Booking Hall, a live music venue on the edge of the Western Docks, again a more recent opening.

The Dracula Parrot would fill the gap of lost nightlife in the immediate area.

Just a few hundred yards away is the empty shell of the Nineties-era nightclub Nu Age, which became Deja Vu before it closed in 2016.

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