The Humber Street Distillery Co opens in Hull's Fruit Market
PUBLISHED: 11:14 18 June 2017
supplied with press release
Speak-easy style bar joins the growing number of businesses investing in Hull's regeneration.
A gin bar and distillery, said to be the first in Yorkshire, is to open in Hull’s rapidly-evolving Fruit Market. Owners Lee Kirman and Charlotte Bailey are creating one of only a handful of combined gin bars and distilleries across the country, to add to the vibrant atmosphere of an area at the heart of Hull’s year as UK City of Culture.
They are investing £160,000 in Humber Street Distillery Co with £50,000 on a 150-litre gin still which is being imported from Germany. The opening in Humber Street in the centre of the Fruit Market will create up to eight full and part-time jobs.
‘We took inspiration from bars in cities such as London and Edinburgh, but wanted to take it a step further by distilling our own gin on the premises,’ says Lee. ‘We knew we could make a real success of it because gin is seeing such resurgence in popularity.
‘The Fruit Market area is seeing massive regeneration and investment and we felt the time was right to bring our new business venture to fruition. We feel it will fit in perfectly as part of the growing community of independent businesses in Humber Street.’
The 1,800 sq ft bar and distillery has been designed by East Yorkshire-based DEN Group, the company that designed 1884 Dock Street Kitchen, the award-winning restaurant that is among the pioneers of the Fruit Market rejuvenation. It will feature an elegantly-decorated bar, with the still to be installed on display behind a glass wall in the bar area so customers can see the gin being produced.
The owners say it will have a speakeasy style with oak-panelled walls and leather seating, and feature photographs of Humber Street in days gone by. It will also have a heated outdoor seating area.
At least 100 different varieties of gin, unusual spirits, local and international craft beers and cocktails will be available. Food will include gourmet bar snacks and sharing platters.
To master the art of gin distillery and production, the owners teamed up with acclaimed gin distiller Jamie Baxter, who opened the City of London Distillery in 2012 – the first gin distillery to open in the capital for 200 years. Mr Baxter is also known for creating spirits such as Burleighs London Dry Gin and the award-winning Chase Vodka.
When the distillery is up and running in the summer, guests will be able to attend tasting sessions and master classes on the making of gin, as well as be able to distil their own gin from a miniature still brought to their table. They will then be able to take away their tipple in a Fruit Market-themed and personalised bottle.
The £80million transformation of the Fruit Market as Hull’s first ‘urban village’ includes new and refurbished commercial, retail and leisure space centred on Humber Street. The commercial units will be complemented by a development of 101 new mews-style homes around private courtyards, due to start construction by the summer.
Humber Street Distillery Co is the latest in a wave of recent investments in the Fruit Market, including high-quality restaurants Ambiente Tapas, Butler Whites and Tapasya @ Marina; artisan chocolatier Cocoa Chocolatier and Patisserie; Humber Street Gallery; and vintage fashion brand Poorboy Boutique.
About the Fruit Market
• The Fruit Market has been an area of economic activity for 200 years and was the centre of Hull’s wholesale fruit and vegetable trade until 2009. In recent years it found a new role as the heart of the city’s vibrant festival scene and as an artistic and cultural hub.
• The £80million rejuvenation of the Fruit Market is being driven forward by regeneration company Wykeland Group and residential developer Beal Homes. The two long-established Hull companies have formed a joint venture company, Wykeland Beal, to breathe new life into the Fruit Market, in partnership with Hull City Council.
• Wykeland and Beal each have almost 50 years history as private, locally owned and managed businesses, with exemplary track records in delivering high-quality residential, commercial and retail schemes. Their vision for the Fruit Market is for it to be ‘a unique, vibrant and cultural quarter where people live, work and play.’
• The ambition is to create an ‘urban village’ featuring business, arts, culture, retail and leisure uses, together with more than 100 new, mews-style homes, in and among the waterside district’s warehouses and cobbled streets.
• The latest plans build on a wave of investment, including Wykeland’s £15m @TheDock development, which features the Centre for Digital Innovation (C4DI) tech hub and Stage @TheDock, a newly 350-seat amphitheatre created within Hull’s historic Central Dry Dock. In recent years the Fruit Market’s resurgence has attracted a host of new businesses, such as the award-winning 1884 Dock Street Kitchen restaurant, and the area is now home to more than 70 companies employing hundreds of people.