Inspired by the surge in popularity of gin, Lee Kirman and Charlotte Bailey are opening a gin bar and distillery in Hull to celebrate its year as UK City of Culture.
The couple are investing £160,000 in Humber Street Distillery Co, with £50,000 going on a bespoke, 150-litre gin still which is being imported from Germany.
The owners have rejuvenated the nearby Minerva pub and the Humber Street Distillery Co will open on Saturday April 15, to coincide with the Minerva Gin Festival.
Lee said: “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.
“We knew we could make a real success of it because gin is seeing such a resurgence in popularity. We stock around 50 varieties of gin at The Minerva and they go down really well with our customers. Our first gin festival last October was also a great success.”
The 1,800 sq ft venue has been designed by East Yorkshire-based DEN Group, the company that designed 1884 Dock Street Kitchen, the award-winning restaurant that was among the pioneers of the Fruit Market rejuvenation.
It will feature an elegant 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.
Around 100 different varieties of gin, unusual spirits, local and international craft beers and bespoke cocktails will be on offer and the food menu will include gourmet bar snacks and sharing platters.
To master the art of gin distillery and production, the owners have 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, guests will be able to attend tasting sessions and master classes on the making of gin, as well as being 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.