New wine merchants with ‘drink-in’ licence opens near Ipswich Waterfront
- Credit: Archant
An innovative wine business has opened in a historic building in Fore Street, Ipswich, close to the Waterfront.
Businessman Richard Sadler has spent six months restoring and converting No 93 Fore Street into the new wine merchant’s Bin93.uk.
Mr Sadler said: “We have turned a derelict building into something very nice. It’s a wine merchants, but we also have a ‘drink-in’ licence, so if people want to sit and drink wine they can. It’s a new concept for Ipswich, a first.”
Customers need to book in advance before visiting, and social distancing and safety measures are in place.
Mr Sadler’s new venture took inspiration from Wine Boutique, which has stores in Felixstowe and Frinton and is one of his suppliers.
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However, Bin93.uk is an independent business. It is offering a choice of more than 100 wines initially, plus beers.
Mr Sadler said: “The website launched in February and originally we were planning to open in April, but then we had to put that back because of lockdown.
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“It is lovely to be open at last. We have had a very positive response so far.”
MORE: Operators revealed for new £1.5m restaurantThe wine business opened on Saturday. Mr Sadler said:“We did a very soft launch because of everything that has happened, and have just been letting people find us.”
The spacious building has 15 large tables, which are frequently cleaned. Only four people are currently able to sit at one table, although normally there would be space for eight.
“The tables are well spaced for social distancing too. It is all about being sensible and using common sense,” he said.
The building was once Lemon Tree Studios and further back was the home of the Conder leather business, with workshops and a tannery at the rear.
“It is good to bring it back to life,” he said. “For many years there was a wine merchants nearby in Fore Street, Barwell and Jones which many people will remember.”
So far around £40,000 has been spent on renovations. The ground floor is currently open, with plans to reopen the upper floors in future.
At present Bin93 is not serving food, but Mr Sadler eventually plans to offer snacks including cold meat and cheese boards and a vegan alternative.
In the meantime, customers are able to bring their own sandwiches with them. There is free wi-fi available.
Opening hours are from noon until 10pm daily, but last orders of alcoholic drinks will be at 9pm, with an hour to drink up.
Looking to the future, there are plans to offer a meeting place to clubs and groups, and the building also has a film licence, so organisations will be able to watch special interest or training videos.
For more information and to book, visit the Bin93.uk website.