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Wine bar to open in former Dorchester post office
A NEW wine bar is set to open its doors in one of Dorchester’s most iconic buildings.
Members of West Dorset District Council’s licensing sub committee granted a licence to Jim Ross for his Durnovaria wine bar in South Street.
The property had previously been occupied by Starbuck’s and before that housed the county town’s post office.
Mr Ross plans to open his doors later this month and is aiming to create a high quality venue for people to enjoy drinks, hot beverages and local produce as well as promoting cultural events.
He told the licensing committee: “The concept is a convivial wine bar and cafe serving beverages alongside cakes and cold food.”
Mr Ross said the food served such as cold meats and chutneys will be sourced from local suppliers and would also be available to purchase as produce from the venue.
He added: “The other thing we are looking to do is promote local artists, local events, culture, history, literature and business.”
Mr Ross said there would be no amplified music and the target demographic would be professionals aged 25 and upwards.
He said: “I’m not interested in creating a young persons’ venue or nightclub type place.”
Mr Ross said it was a fantastic building in an ideal location and he was keen to be part in the growth and development of Dorchester.
He said: “It’s an iconic building in the heart of the county town.”
There were objections from local residents at Crown Post Court, some of whose flats were directly above the proposed wine bar.
Their concerns included noise from the establishment as well as people leaving the premises late at night and they claimed the building was unsuitable for the proposed use.
However, the committee agreed to grant the licence to serve alcohol from 8am to 11pm on Mondays to Saturdays and 8am to 10.30pm on Sundays and for entertainment including plays, indoor sporting events, live and recorded music and performance dance between 10am and 11pm from Monday to Saturday and 10am to 10.30pm on Sundays.
The councillors also included a number of conditions including the installation of CCTV, warning notices to advise those leaving the premises to respect the local residents and limits on the times when bottles can be placed into the outdoor receptacles.
Committee chairman Keith Day said: “We are satisfied on balance that it will not create an unreasonable disturbance to local residents.”
The objectors have 21 days to lodge an appeal against the decision.
* FOLLOWING the meeting Mr Ross, who lives in Poundbury, said he was delighted with the outcome and could not wait to get started.
He said that he did not want to upset the local residents and had actually agreed to additional stipulations on top of those imposed by the authorities to ensure that any disturbance was kept to a minimum.
Mr Ross, who has been working towards opening Durnovaria since February, said: “I am very pleased but I would like it to be known I don’t want to upset my neighbours.
“To have the licence put forward is great and it means that I can say we are going to open on August 29.
“I’m looking forward to getting the place open finally and all the local suppliers are ready.
“The concept is strong and I hope it will be a great success.”
Mr Ross said he already had two people employed in a managerial capacity and would expect to take on around five or six more staff.
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