Published: 14:11, 26 February 2018
A bar, restaurant, and entertainment venue soon to open its doors has revealed a sneak preview of work in progress inside.
The Herbalist, a pub, bar, and restaurant combined with a basement entertainment venue called Junipers, is under construction at the site of the former Buddha Belly restaurant at the corner of Pudding Lane and High Street, Maidstone.
While no definite date has been set, Elite Pubs, which has six pubs in Kent and one in East Sussex, says this latest £1.2m venture will be ready to receive customers near the end of May 2018.
The new combination venue, which was first named the Botanist when work began in October last year, will also feature a pizza shack serving food from a window onto Pudding Lane to those enjoying the county town's nightlife.
It will have similar opening hours to The Potting Shed in Langley, opened by Elite pubs in 2016, serving breakfast, lunch, dinner, as well as drinks from 8am to midnight.
Customers will be able to access The Herbalist and Junipers separately but also move in between once inside to create a single experience.
Visitors can have dinner and drinks before moving downstairs for a variety of entertainment including stand-up comedy and live music among others on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights.
While licensed to operate at a capacity of 400 until 4am, owners insist Junipers is not a club and is expected to operate between 6pm and 2am, although hours have not been finalised, and will run at a capacity of between 150 and 200 people.
Aline Koehler-Price, events manager at Elite Pubs, said: "We're not opening a club we're opening an entertainment venue. We're going to have a lot of security at the front and our main focus is to offer a very safe environment for our customers.
"We're opening two places but it's one site, one feeding the other - the Herbalist and Junipers. It's a bit of a pioneer concept bringing something a little bit different to the heart of Maidstone. Something a little bit unique for the town centre."