Leading operator Vaulkhard Group is set to open a new venue in Newcastle upon Tyne combining a bar with an in-house distillery.
It is investing £590,000 into transforming its former Fluid Bar and Kitchen in Gallowgate into Bealim House which will be launched in September.
It will be home to its own distillery which will produce the venue’s own “hibiscus” gin. The gin still has been hand built and shipped in from Portugal.
Honouring the history of the 1896 building, Bealim House will pay homage to what was formerly Bealim Print Works for over 100 years, which has inspired the design.
Director Ollie Vaulkhard said: “With such a magnificent building and history in Gallowgate, we wanted to honour that history throughout the design of the bar.
“The theme includes printing blocks and historical printing memorabilia along with some amazing original features we discovered as we stripped it all back.
“We have turned the interiors on its head in the sense that the staircases and the main entrance are in different places. We have incorporated features like wooden flooring that was once table tops and a bar top that was a wooden floor.
“That, along with so many other quirky features, creates not only a relaxed environment but something that aesthetically gives it the ‘wow’ factor and a bit of talking point.
“We are delighted with how the venue has turned out and look forward to welcoming customers through the doors.”
Covering two floors, Bealim House will feature antique leather seats, vintage tiles, varnished brick walls and an open-plan kitchen on the first floor serving bar tapas, sharing platters and a “unique twist” on classic bar food.
The extensive drinks menu will comprise fine wines with tasting glasses, an extensive cocktail menu and a beer table fitted with self-pouring pumps where groups can pre-order a keg of beer of their choice.
The refurbishment forms the first of Vaulkhard Group’s £4m development plans across several of its city centre bars over the next three years.
The six-figure investment for Bealim House was supported by NatWest and Sintons. Mike Cross, relationship director for NatWest, who specialises in supporting businesses within the leisure sector, said: “The team at Vaulkhard Group have a strong history of creating leisure establishments that thrive and they ensure these businesses develop as the sector changes.
“The group’s directors have a clear focus on their long-term business aspirations and I wish them every success for the future.”
Mark Dobbin , head of real estate at Sintons, who advised on the funding deal for Bealim House, added: “We have been adviser to the Vaulkhard family for many years. This refurbishment is the first of many exciting projects being undertaken by the Vaulkhard Group and I am confident this will lead to further success for the business, which is already held in such high esteem across the north-east.”
Ollie set up Fluid Group in 2001 with the first of its bars being Fluid Bar and Kitchen. Vaulkhard Group was created when Ollie merged the group with his brother Harry Vaulkhard’s leisure businesses, Breeze Ventures and Blake’s Retail.
Vaulkhard Group’s portfolio includes bars, clubs and cafés across Newcastle including Barluga, Perdu, Fluid Bar, The Mushroom, Quilted Camel, All Seeing Eye, Blackie Boy, Pacific, Blake’s coffee shop, Central Bean, and MSA Bar & Late Rooms, as well as Barluga and Central Bean in Morpeth north of the city.
Pictured: Mark Dobbin, Harry Vaulkhard, Mike Cross, and Ollie Vaulkhard at the ground floor bar in Bealim House