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Maidstone's new The W House events venue awaits licensing decision

By William Janes

A warehouse left empty for decades could be transformed into a buzzing entertainment venue.

If a licence is granted at a meeting on Friday the five-storey building, which sits between Week Street and Rose Yard in Maidstone, could open its doors as The W House as early as January.

New owner Stephen Moore, who also owns Source Bar, has already installed a sign and is confident his application will be approved.

The warehouse that could soon become an events venue.
The warehouse that could soon become an events venue.

If the meeting goes in his favour, the venue will put on a broad variety of entertainment from country and western music and jazz to stand-up comedy.

It could also house a dance school and host boxing matches.

The structure, built between 1900 and 1920 and used as a furniture warehouse for much of its lifetime, is undergoing a £750,000 overhaul.

Mr Moore's application covers virtually all forms of entertainment and night life activity with a provision to serve alcohol until 6am on certain days.

"I've been in Maidstone for 30 years and run The Source for 20 and know what Maidstone wants," said the 52-year-old. "People don't want another nightclub, there's a gap in the market for an events centre that will hold a variety of events. I'm very excited."

Plans for the building include a dance floor/performance space and stage in a large room with a bar on the first floor.

Owner of The Source Stephen Moore who hopes to open the new warehouse venue
Owner of The Source Stephen Moore who hopes to open the new warehouse venue

The second floor will mirror the first but include a mezzanine overlooking the stage below with a third bar occupying an arm of the building which reaches from Rose Yard and overlooks Week Street.

Mr Moore's vision for the venue's third level is a high-end cocktail bar and function room complete with a roof terrace.

While the owner hopes to have the first two levels completed and open by January, party-goers hoping to check-out the third floor may have to wait until August.

He predicts that The W House won't be open every weekend to begin with but hopes that it will pick up momentum, with acts and events arranged for most nights of the week.

Mr Moore will have to wait for the outcome of his licence application before anything can go ahead.

The proposal has had just one objection so far, submitted by Trevor Modell, owner of Bank Street nightclub Gallery who fears the new venue would serve underage customers alcohol.

Read more: All the latest news from Maidstone

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