Victoria Tap

Bar operator homes in on Victoria

Neil Tague

The opening of a sister business to the popular Piccadilly Tap bar have advanced at the Manchester station, with operator Bloomsbury Leisure lodging a change of use application.

Place North West revealed Bloomsbury owner Jon Dalton’s Victoria plans in October 2019, but the programme was pushed back by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Dalton now intends to press on for an opening in the coming months with a bar that will focus heavily on its outdoor seating offer, with a heated area for 80 customers.

According to the application filed on Dalton’s behalf by Dexter Building Services, the operator is seeking a change of use to a “drinking establishment and external pergola and garden with seating”.

The unit concerned is adjacent to the southern Long Millgate entrance, on the right hand sie as people enter the station from the Noma/National Football Museum end. It is still classed as retail space for planning purposes, although has more recently been used for storage.

The area covered is to be slightly larger than 1,750 sq ft, with a decked yard space to be created on a currently uneven cobbled/paved area , accessed through an existing rear entrance. The decked space will face the tram tracks.

Further projects in the area include Muse’s New Victoria, which started on site last year.

Beasley Dickson Architects has designed the proposal for the bar within what is a grade two-listed station building. In its design & access statement, BDA states that the poor state of the empty space is clearly visible through its large windows facing into the station, and that the improvements will serve to reactivate the station’s southern entrance.

All heritage elements, such as original timber fittings and glazed tiling, will be retained. Place understands that a railway heritage grant has been secured to assist with sensitive parts of the fit out. Janice Gooch Heritage Consultancy has advised.

Dalton founded the group in 2005 and has since built it up to around a dozen London venues and a few in regiomal cities, covering station-area pubs, bowling lanes and music venues. The best known of the group is the Euston Tap in the station’s former West Lodge building, a firm favourite among North West-bound travellers.

Place understands that the intention is to serve up to 27 cask and keg beers, featuring plenty of local brewers along with Czech and German beers.

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That is going to be one noisy beer garden. Might be interesting though as it needs tidying up.

By Anonymous