Cheshire: pizzeria, café and ice cream parlor ready to be built

FOUR new occupants – including a pizzeria, cafe and ice cream parlor – have been announced for a revamped historic building in Cheshire.

The former TJ Hughes building on Sankey Street, Watrrington, which previously housed the co-op’s department store, is currently being converted into Hive WA1.

This program hopes to transform the site into a “one-stop destination that will be a hive of activity for work and leisure” – including a shopping arcade, bars, restaurants, a gym, offices and a conference room and banquet.

And a quartet of new tenants have been announced.

Chester and District Standard:

Black Sheep Coffee, a London-based specialty coffee shop, has committed to occupying the main unit on the corner of Cairo Street.

It has taken up 2,500 square feet of space on a 15-year lease, joining its 51 sites currently open in the UK – plus one in Paris and an upcoming expansion in the US, thanks to the basketball player’s investment NBA Kristaps Porzingi.

Meanwhile, agreements with three other companies are about to be officially concluded.

Fearnhead-based Ruddies Pizza, which currently operates as a delivery service and operates stalls at events, will open a take-out restaurant in the development.

Chester and District Standard:

George Rudd of Ruddies Pizza

Brighella’s Gelateria will see the opening of a traditional ice cream bar, overlooking Sankey Street.

And Pendergast Steakhouse will take over the former Mojo’s Tapas Bar on Cairo Street.

Chester and District Standard: Interior of the restaurant, which has undergone refurbishment after being taken over

They will follow the Brass Monkey sports bar, which opened in May and features ping-pong and pool tables, shuffleboard and live music.

Chester and District Standard: Shuffleboard in The Brass Monkey

In the meantime, 3,700 square feet of office space has been leased – with an additional 5,000 square feet available for coworking offices.

Other plans include converting the original Members’ Hall into a 14,700 square foot conference and banquet hall, while planning permission is sought for a ‘scenic garden with incredible views of the west” on the roof.

Chester and District Standard:

The grand ballroom of the Coop

This will include an island bar, four street kitchens and seating for over 300 patrons.

Ben Rafferty, a retail consultant working with the owner of the Hive WA1, said: “There are discussions going on but we are looking for operators for a number of different types of businesses – including a sports, an artisan bakery, a beauty clinic, a travel agency, jewellers, men’s grooming, men’s and women’s fashion store, music store, tattoo artist, florists and wine shops.

Chester and District Standard:

“If you have a viable business plan and can demonstrate business acumen or are already established, then contact us.

“Rents start from £200 a week.”

The original building was designed by architect John Douglas in the 1860s, but was largely rebuilt in 1908.

Chester and District Standard:

It is hoped that the remaining units will be ready to open by late summer or fall.