Owners of an award-winning independent wine shop who last year bid to expand their business are set to open a brand new wine bar on the site of a former bank.
The Whalley Wine Shop in King Street, Whalley, submitted an application to Ribble Valley Council in March last year to transform its neighbouring premises – the former Barclays Bank – into an extended shop, wine bar and cafe.
And after receiving the green light, they set about turning the vacant building into the Ribble Valley’s ‘very best venue for enjoying wine’, with an official opening taking place on Wednesday.
A spokesperson for the Whalley Wine Shop said: “For the last few months we have been busy refurbishing the old Barclays Bank next door to the Whalley Wine Shop, transforming it into the Ribble Valley’s very best venue for enjoying wine.
“We will be serving a fantastic range of over 350 quality wines, along with a small selection of craft beers and fine spirits.
“To complement this there will be a small food offering of cheese and charcuterie sharing boards alongside a variety of quality nibbles.
“Just like the service we provide at The Whalley Wine Shop, our new passionate and knowledgeable bar team will be on hand to help customers choose the right wines, every time. ”
Last year, owner, Tom Jones and his team were due to celebrate the 10th anniversary of The Whalley Wine Shop, but found they had to shelve their planned events and tastings due to the pandemic.
However, this gave them the opportunity to look at their long term strategy, and how they could add something new and exciting for customers and for Whalley.
Opening a wine bar during a pandemic, when the hospitality industry was on its knees, was a brave move but Mr Jones said: “Right from the outset we tried to make a visit to The Whalley Wine Shop an experience, creating a buzz, by encouraging customers to taste new wines.
“We found that our customers loved the ambience of tasting and drinking wine in the shop, but with over 1,000 different wines on display and often over 20 wines to taste by the glass, the shop was frequently packed, and it became clear we needed a dedicated space to drink that wasn’t a shop.
“When Barclays Bank next door closed it seemed the perfect solution and opportunity to open a venue dedicated to drinking and experiencing great wines.
“So during Covid we leased the bank and set about converting it to a high quality wine bar where we can hold both indoor and outdoor wine tastings.
“It’ll be a place for wine lovers, and our offering and our service will be all about the wine.
“There will be a small range of beers and spirits for non-wine drinkers but no draught beer or cocktails.
“We’re aiming to be a genuine wine bar, but not just any wine bar we want to be the best place to enjoy and drink wine in the North West with one of the best ranges of wine by the bottle or by the glass anywhere in the UK.
“A genuine wine bar designed by wine lovers for wine lovers.”
The Bar will eventually feature a ‘Wine Garden’ to enjoy wines in the sun in a calm and beautifully designed outdoor space.
And on opening day there will be outside seating with the shop’s distinctive wine barrels relocated outside the bar.
The bar will also feature a ‘tasting room’ called The Vault, situated where the safe was kept in the old bank, where customers will be able to have personal tastings and consultations.
Mr Jones continued: “The ambience of the shop has always been very important to us and it will be the same with the bar.
“We will also be serving a menu of fine foods that perfectly accompany our wines including high quality cold meats and fine cheeses from high quality local suppliers.
“Not a venue for dinner but great snacks and nibbles to complement great wine.”
The Whalley Wine Bar officially opens on Wednesday.