The unique venue is the centrepiece of Chesterfield’s latest development, with a range of exciting food vendors and a bar stocked with a variety of independent beers and spirits.
Derbyshire Times reporter Tom Hardwick and photographer Brian Eyre were invited along to see how work was progressing in anticipation of the project’s launch date.
John Tompkins, the owner of the Devonshire Arms in Middle Handley, has invested a six-figure sum into opening several units in the food hall.
He will be running Bubba Bar, which will offer tapas and small plates from around the world. Indi-Yum’s focus is on Indian street food, and Loaded will be serving up loaded hot dogs with different fillings.
Marco’s will be dishing up Portuguese street food, Annabelle’s will be a wine and Prosecco bar, and the Batch House Deli will provide customers with cheeses, hams and cured meats.
Despite his sizeable investment, John said that he had no concerns about whether the people of Chesterfield would take to the Batch House.
“This is what I’ve been looking for - I had something similar in Sheffield that didn't work out, but I’ve got no worries about this being a success.
“One thing I always say about the Devonshire Arms is that it’s ten minutes from anywhere, and it’s the same here - you’re ten minutes from Sheffield, Coal Aston, Dronfield.
“It’s on a busy road with the football ground opposite - without a shadow of a doubt, it will be an amazing success.”
Ben Stephenson, owner of Brimington’s Brimming with Beer, and Darren Filsell, who runs the Industry Tap in Sheffield, will be operating a craft beer bar called the Hop Lamp.
It will offer first class beers and spirits from the UK and beyond to wash down a meal from one of the Batch House’s many eateries.
Ben said the venue was perfectly located, and would give Chesterfield’s residents a reason to stay in the town rather than travelling elsewhere to enjoy a night out.
He added: “Whittington Moor has got a lot of investment going in, and I think the concept of a food hall is something that Chesterfield has been missing.
“I have a lot of customers tell me that they go to places like Cutlery Works and Kommune in Sheffield, so we’ve brought that sort of experience here to Chesterfield.”
Darren said the Hop Lamp’s focus would be on craft beers, and that he was excited for the Batch House to open next month.
“It’ll be fully independent, we’re not tied to any of the commercial breweries like Carling or Guinness, so it’ll be recognisable craft beers.
“Everything is going to be complementary - people will come down here and have some cracking food and a drink, and then have a look at what the other places here have to offer.
“The landlord’s done a great job of getting businesses that complement each other, so we’re looking forward to it opening.”
Stuart Griffin and Matthew Rhodes, who currently run a wholesale patisserie based in Rotherham, will be opening the Four Eyes Bakery inside the Batch House.
Stuart said: “This is the first retail outlet we’ve had, so we’re going to be showcasing all of our products from the patisserie, as well as some fantastic breads, coffees and pizzas.
“It’s been going on a long time - we’ve been involved with this for many months and Covid has slowed everything down. Finally, come next month, we’ll be opening the doors and off we go.”
Hakan Kilic, the owner of Brill Burger in Sheffield, is preparing to bring his gourmet, handmade burgers to Chesterfield. He said customers have responded positively to Brill Burger so far, and that he was confident people in the town would enjoy what they have to offer.
“We’re on 4.9 stars in Google reviews and 4.8 on Uber Eats, so we’re really happy that everyone is liking it.
“People who take our burgers home say they taste great, but with it being more of a restaurant vibe here, I think it will be a lot better.”
Tim Turner is the managing director of Blue Deer Ltd, the construction company that has brought the Glass Yard to life.
He said he was inspired to create the Batch House to bring something unique to Chesterfield, and praised the atmosphere created by the business owners involved in the venture.
“We decided to incorporate a food hall because we thought the town needed something a little bit different.
“We’ve managed to attract quite a lot of very interesting people, and there’s a really nice environment that will hopefully make it a nice place to come and bring the family.”
There will be a soft opening in the last week of February, with the bar and a couple of vendors welcoming customers. Tim said the pandemic had posed difficulties for the project, but he was optimistic that Chesterfield was now ready for the Batch House to open its doors.
“Everything will open on March 1, and the place will be looking fantastic.
“We’re feeling pretty confident- it’s been a challenge to get it open due to Covid and deliveries and things like that, but I think the timing is just about right now.
“People are ready to have something interesting to do, and this is going to be new and exciting.”
The Glass Yard is a mixed use 50,000 sq ft development comprising of a mix of office and retail space plus the artisan food and drink hall.
It is located on the former fire station site on Sheffield Road.
Other businesses already at the site includes a hair salon, a private pregnancy scan studio, a bathroom and tile showroom and a bridal boutique.