Derbyshire bar unveils expansion and one-way plans

A Derbyshire bar is planning to expand into a vacant adjoining former shop to create a larger seating area and create a one-way system.

Thursday, 6th May 2021, 11:38 am

Monk Bar in King Street Belper, has applied to Amber Valley Borough Council for the extension.

If approved, an internal door would be knocked through from the former shop Knickers And Things at 59 King Street into Monk Bar at 61 King Street, which specialises in cocktails and wines.

An application which has been submitted by owner Tom Ingham, from Matlock, shows the new extension would provide an extra 45 square metres of room for seating as well as an additional toilet.

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Monk Bar, Belper. Picture: Google
Monk Bar, Belper. Picture: Google

The borough council will make a decision in the next few months.

The current Monk Bar premises, as with many of the historic shop and retail units in Belper, is very narrow and had not provided much room for any seating, particularly seating which allows for social distancing.

The pavement on King Street outside the two properties is also too narrow to accommodate outdoor seating.

A statement submitted with Mr Ingham’s application says: “Very little will be changed regarding the current design and access of the building, the few changes we will make will create more space and provide more facilities for the customers – which are all the more important given the current global situation.

“We plan on adding another entrance/opening into the building through the wall of next door premises (61 King Street) which we currently already own and operate.

“This allows for a more free flowing movement of customers and should avoid any build up at a single entry/exit point this includes queues on a weekend that can cause an unsafe blockage of the pavement for other members of the public.

“Having an opening between 61 and 59 king street would also allow us to provide a safe one-way system should the need continue or arise in the future, entering via one front door and existing via the other.

“The design of the premises will be very similar to the existing bar in 61 King Street, celebrating the industrial heritage of the area whilst being a comfortable and warm environment to enjoy.

“We will be using material such as wood, concrete and brick with softer suede and velvet and leather furnishings.

“The building shall be used to provide much needed extra seating, which allows for greater comfort of customers both from a space and relaxation point of view, but also reduces any risk of confrontation usually caused due to close proximity of people in a small space.

“Given the extra seating that will be added to the building we also plan on adding an extra wc area – expanding on a currently existing one – to cope with the demand.

The statement concludes: “Again, this provides less build up of customers waiting for existing services, and closer amenities means less travel around the bar – all of which is a new concern that must be looked at in the current climate.”