A new craft beer bar and shop wants to open in the old La Lanterna restaurant in Reigate

March 13, 2018
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Reigate is fast becoming a craft beer capital, as the owners of an Oxted beer shop vie to open a new specialist bar in Bell Street.

Hop Stop, which opened in Station Road East in Oxted two years ago, has submitted a change-of-use application to Reigate and Banstead Borough Council for the La Lanterna restaurant, which has been empty since 2014.

But the application has sparked a debate about whether the town needs more bars – and more outlets specialising in ale.

And Serge Tassi, owner of neighbouring restaurant La Barbe, says life is already “almost unbearable” at the weekends due to alcohol-induced fighting, vomiting and urinating in the street.

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In its application, Hop Stop says the Reigate business would open from noon to 11pm, Monday to Thursday, noon to midnight on Friday and Saturday, and close at 6pm on Sundays.

“We now wish to expand our offering to Reigate by opening a second premises at 73 Bell Street,” it states.

“This will be a combined specialist beer bar and retail shop focused on serving quality beer for drinking on site or taking away. In addition we would serve a selection of wine, spirits and non-alcoholic drinks.

“To complement the drinks we would offer a small and tailored grazing menu of prepared food.

“Our vision is to provide a space which is comfortable and welcoming where the emphasis is on quality over quantity.

“It will be a relaxed and pleasant drinking environment for friends and colleagues to meet at lunchtime or after work, a place to have a drink before dining in town or going to the cinema and of course a place for beer enthusiasts to find the latest beers from the brewing world.

“We would also like to hold special events such as bottle share evenings, tutored tastings and beer-related talks.”

Reigate has other independents specialising in beer. Just last year, shop Four Hops opened in West Street and Pilgrim Brewery opened a new tap room .

On Twitter, Four Hops said: “I can’t believe they would open another beer shop in direct competition to us. We are not happy!!”

And others questioned the need.

@ A_Crafty_Couple , a Twitter account which says it promotes good beer and local drinking spots, said another outlet “does not make sense” and would not constitute “healthy competition”.

Another user, @ninefootsix, wrote: “Not sure a town of Reigate’s size really needs two craft beer shops plus two independent wine shops which also sell craft beer. Unless we are truly a town of p*** heads.”

Hop Stop opened in Oxted two years ago and now wants to expand to Reigate
(Image: Google)

But Hop Stop tweeted back: “This is about widening the good beer movement and giving people even more choice when drinking out.”

Three objections to the change of use have so far been submitted to the council, along with one letter of support.

One is from Serge Tassi, owner of neighbouring restaurant La Barbe, who said life is already “almost unbearable” due to the behaviour of drinkers in the street.

“Every Friday and Saturday in the early morning there are numbers of people passing our building who shout, scream and fight one another,” he wrote.

“Some urinate in the alleyways next to our property, others vomit – presumably due to the influence of alcohol.

“There are also often people ringing on our doorbell. My staff and I are usually woken up at the weekend more than once. We have also had our menu holder broken half a dozen times and our security glass main windows have been cracked three or four times, involving significant amounts of cost.”

The council will issue its decision in due course.

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Article source: https://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/surrey-news/new-craft-beer-bar-shop-14388395


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