Set over four floors it’s been a long-time coming for gin fans in Preston.Advertisement
Plau gin and beer bar has turned from the refit of a former tattoo shop into a major restoration project for the team.
Led by Jeremy Rowlands and Rebecca Scott, the duo are part of the Meat and Drink group, and the renovation has escalated since they bought part of the premises in 2014.
From Jeremy discovering a 40ft well with a pick-axe, to the former student flats upstairs becoming available and now a part of the bar with an extensive dining area, the Plau vision has changed from its initial plans.
There’s a labyrinth of rooms to explore in the building in Friargate which dates back to 1668.
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Jeremy, who has turned into Friargate’s newest historian, said: “We’ve traced the building back to 1668 and it was built by either John Chorley or John Chorley Junior.
“They were butchers and both were Mayors of Preston in their time.”
Rebecca and Jeremy take us up the many little staircases, pointing out tiny doors which have been expanded, and spotting places where they discovered little bits of Preston’s history tucked away.
Rebecca said: “It was a working gin stool for many years.
“So Plau is going back to what it was as the Plough Inn.
“We’ve found lots of interesting artefacts as we’ve been doing the project and I’m planning to have a curiosities cupboard at the top of one of the staircases to show off what we’ve found.”
Once completed the bar is due to be able to seat 200 people across its three different drinking areas.
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From the well-bar, which is to have a glass covering allowing those comfortable with heights to take a look down to the waters below, to the rooftop terrace where the errr, stunning views of the back of Friargate can be seen.
Asked why it had taken so long, Jeremy said: “There has been a real change in the project since we first took it on in 2014, and we are really enjoying bringing the whole building back into use. As I am sure you can appreciate that’s become a much bigger task than what we started with.
“But it’s going to be great and to bring this back into a bar for the first time since around 1913 is going to be very special.”
Rebecca said they were targeting a September opening date with decorators due to move into the site within the next fortnight.
Plau will join the group’s other ventures including The Continental, The Plungington, The Ferret, The Market Tavern and The Moorbrook.
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Nicola Heritage, who will be one of the team managing Plau, said 15 to 20 jobs would be created and would be advertised on the group’s website when available.
For beer fans, there’s going to be four cask ales on and eight keg ales, and these will be rotated regularly with new lines.