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Tenterden drinks giant Chapel Down shuts its Gin Works in King's Cross, London

English sparkling wine producers Chapel Down has closed its Gin Works in London just a year after it opened.

It comes three months after the restaurant at the site in King's Cross was closed in October.

Chapel Down CEO Frazer Thompson says the business continues to flourish despite disappointment of London operation
Chapel Down CEO Frazer Thompson says the business continues to flourish despite disappointment of London operation

The Gin Works originally featured a micro-distillery, bar and restaurant.

The closure comes after the Tenterden-based firm admitted it was unable make the outlet profitable.

On the Gin Works website it says: "We are now closed. Stay tuned for updates from the Chapel Down Gin Works.

"We will be contacting customers who have experience bookings outstanding and will be offering either a full refund or an alternative Chapel Down or Curious experience.

"Our award winning gins and vodka are unaffected and are available to purchase online."

Visitors continue to flock to its vineyard
Visitors continue to flock to its vineyard

CEO Frazer Thompson told KentOnline: "Unfortunately, although we created a great team and gave people fantastic experiences at the Gin Works, we just couldn't get enough people to go there to make it profitable.

"So rather than continue we made the difficult decision to close it. These things happen, that's unfortunate but everything else is performing extremely well.

"The brewery is a fantastic operation and lots of people are going there, even in January and Tenterden is also performing extremely well.

"You make sensible business decisions every now and again, but sometimes they're not great. But everything else is going really well."

It comes just weeks after Gareth Bath, managing director of its beers and cider division, announced he was leaving the company.

The Curious Brewery in Ashford is proving a hit since its opening last May
The Curious Brewery in Ashford is proving a hit since its opening last May

In September, the company revealed year-on-year combined sales soared by 21% to £6.74m but on-going major investments, most notably in its Curious Brewery site in Ashford, in the six months up to June 30, 2019, saw losses rise to £1.7m. It lost just over £546,000 over the same period the year before.

It put the losses down to a "conscious decision to continue investing ahead in our people, our systems and our brands".

The £1.7m Curious Brewery was finally opened, after a two month delay, last May.

Chapel Down has vineyards across Kent, Sussex, Surrey and Essex. Last year the company began planting on England’s largest single vineyard, a 338-acre site in Boarley, near Maidstone which takes its land under vine to almost 1,000 acres, easily the most of any producer in England.

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