The Vintage Market on Stokes Croft is set to be turned into a restaurant, bar, event space and micro-distillery under plans approved this week.
Portland Brown, a global corporate housing provider with offices opposite the site, says it is supporting the regeneration of the area with proposals that will see the partial demolition, conversion and extension of the building and adjoining unit.
The company’s vision is to have an independent and locally owned café/bar looking out onto Stokes Croft, that aims to “bring a bit of relaxed antipodean café culture”.
The tap room next door will be a smaller venue that’s “more industrial in character”, where a selection of locally-brewed and guest craft beers will be served on tap.
A restaurant will be built on the ground floor to the rear of the site, while upstairs will host a “versatile event space” for private parties, live performances, award nights, product launches and community events, as well as a kitchen, bar and gin distillery, according to planning documents submitted to Bristol City Council.
Portland Brown originally acquired the two units at numbers 11-13 and 15-19 Stokes Croft in 2014 with the intention of converting the latter building, which currently hosts the Vintage Market, into office space for the expanding company.
Instead, the firm refurbished its existing premises at 20-22 Stokes Croft and is now seeking to press ahead with the “mixed-use hospitality entertainment” redevelopment. An original planning application was granted permission in June 2018.
In documents submitted to the council’s planning portal, Smith Maloney Architects say the latest design aims to maximise the retention and re-use of the existing structure, with “a leaner approach to construction” that uses less material and waste, thereby reducing the carbon footprint of the project.
The building at 11-13, set to host the tap room and staff facilities, was once home to a bike shop but in recent years has been used as a temporary informal gallery, with a recording studio above.
The small gin micro-distillery is described as “largely a marketing tool” in planning documents. The owners plan to sell their own gin over the bars, with personalised bottles available for gifts, as well as gin tasting and making events.
Smith Maloney Architects say in the documents: “A key characteristic of the area is the variety of its buildings and people, along with a vibrant artistic community. It is intended that the scheme will provide a range of flexible and adaptable spaces to accommodate uses which are responsive to the diverse character and evolving requirements of the area.”
Portland Brown has been approached for comment.
Main photo by Martin Booth