Entrepreneurs invest in developing two new Dorset bars

Kate Compston Aidan Brinkhurst The Gin House

Two Dorset entrepreneurs are planning to open a new wine and ale bar after relocating their Wimborne gin bar to larger premises.

Kate and Gordon Compston plan to open their new bar, Harwood & Co, in Broadstone, north of Poole, in the autumn, in the Costa Coffee premises on the Broadway.

The licence approval has been granted and the fit-out will begin once Costa has relocated. The new bar will have a “retro vibe” combined with a modern twist, aiming to be upmarket but cosy and welcoming.

The Compstons have just unveiled the new home for The Gin House in Wimborne after relocating from their original premises in West Borough to a Grade II-listed site in Church Street that is three times the size. It has been revamped with a “significant” investment.

Retaining the Prohibition-themed interior, it offers a relaxed and cosy atmosphere, comfortable, chilled-out nooks and more than 200 gins. It includes small-batch and limited-edition gins alongside rare and flavoured tonic waters, with an emphasis on eccentric, complementing garnishes as well as gin cocktails – and other drinks too.

Kate is pictured behind the bar at The Gin House’s new premises with its manager Aidan Brinkhurst.

The new wine and ale bar will be a tribute to Kate’s family because her grandparents are Harwoods and four generations have lived in Broadstone. She said: “We are featuring 1950s-style crockery, a record player and we’ve even got Mediterranean tiles in memory of my grandparents’ trips to Spain and Europe, and not forgetting the all-important pantry.

“The popular 50s vibe was a time when vinyl and jukeboxes were the main in-house musical entertainment, a pre-digital era, and we have seen an increasing desire for premises which hark back to bygone times, which we believe is why our Gin House has proven to be so popular.”

Kate and Gordon also operate The Taphouse in West Borough in Wimborne. She added: “We are 100% committed to investment in the area. We employ and work with local people and local businesses. We will continue to work with local suppliers as a part of our business growth.”

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