One of the most long-awaited bar openings in Preston is going to take much longer than anticipated.Advertisement
Plau gin bar in Friargate has revealed the opening date – but it’s not until 2023 at the earliest.
Restoration work has been ongoing at the site since 2014 when permission was granted for the boutique bar.
Various discoveries as the team have been working on the building have given them pause for thought during the work, and now there’s been another one.
Plau, which was The Plough Inn, is thought to be one of the first places to make gin in the city.
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The spokesman said: “We found the original gin still and to our surprise there was a little glass bottle left.
“We had to hand this over to the architectural teams and they’ve taken it away for tests and told us we can’t do anymore work, or we risk serious fines for vandalism to an alcohol heritage asset.”
The bottle is thought to contain some pure Preston gin, possibly made from the tears of a Victorian urchin, and is now going to be sent away for tests.
Because of the architectural significance and the potential for more of the historic gin to be discovered all work has been stopped.
Historic England have been informed as have the Gin Enthusiasts Association for the Protection of British Gins (GEAPBG).
Chairman of GEAPBG, Morris Plymouth, said: “We think this is one of the earliest samples of gin from the North of England so we need to conduct tests.
“If there’s more there it could be worth thousands of pounds to collectors.
“So we have advised all work can’t start for at least another five years.
“Our special gin tests take at least two years to conduct, and then another two years to come back from the lab.
“We also have to get European approval to certify that it is British gin too. But with the Brexit process ongoing it’s not known exactly how the rules around this will work.
“There’s also the problem that the German arm of our organisation likes to come and inspect each place that gin is found. And the site has to be left exactly as it was when the gin was discovered.”
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A Plau spokesman, who represents the Meet and Drink group, said: “I’m sure people share our frustration that we can’t get Plau open.
“Obviously we plan on purchasing another five Preston pubs in this time and saving them from being incredibly bog standard places to drink and thus ensuring those with check shirts and beards have comfortable places to drink instead.
“So keep your eyes peeled.”
This was obviously an April Fool. Thanks to Plau bar for being good sports. And no, we still don’t actually know when it opens!