An online store which exclusively sells English wines is set to open its first bar – with patrons vowing to ‘bring the vineyard to the high street’.
Corkk plans to welcome its first customers through its doors at the former Trailfinders premises in Burgate, Canterburynext month, having already applied for a drinking establishment license with the city council.
The owners say that if given the green light, the venture will be the first bar of its kind dedicated to English wines in the country.
Founder Jonathan Piggins said: “English wines have come a very long way in the past 20 years and are now superb.
“We have this very special product on our doorstep in Kent and that’s what we want to celebrate and help people discover.”
Mr Piggins, who describes himself as an ‘enthusiastic connoisseur’, teamed up with expert Clive Barlow, wine master and founder of the Canterbury Wine Festival.
Their aim is to celebrate English wines, especially those from Kent where there are now around 50 wineries, many with award-winning produce.
The new business will be a boutique and a bar, but it will also host tasting sessions with regular visits from vineyard owners.
Mr Piggins thinks Burgate is the best location in town for the company.
Renovation and fitting-out work on the premises is in progress, with a launch date scheduled for mid-November.
“We will be operating on the ground floor and first floor which will make a lovely room for wine tastings as it overlooks the cathedral at the back,” he added.
His online business was launched two and a half years ago, but plans to open his first wine bar have been stalled by the pandemic.
Corkk does however have a small outlet in Fenwick.
“Our goal is to bring the vineyard to the main street,” Mr Piggins continued.
“It will be where people can experience the wonderful variety of English wines under one roof in the city.”
The pair who run the store want it to be open until 11pm Monday to Saturday.
On Sundays, meanwhile, they hope to keep the business open between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.
They also applied for a roadway permit with the local authority.
This would allow them to place tables and chairs outside the premises.