(Not so) bog standard, (not so) Bigg gin bar opening in unused city centre toilets

Shwetha Vasan reports on Bigg Market's newest development.

Shwetha Vasan
4th November 2019
WC Newcastle Ltd via Newcastle City Council planning portal
The dilapidated Victorian female toilets in High bridge are set to be transformed into the smallest gin bar in the UK by Easter 2020.

WC Newcastle, the company behind the plan,  said the proposed venue will be an "intimately designed and atmospherically lit subterranean bar, in keeping with the Victorian heritage, but fused with a modern outlook and feel".

According to the proposed plan, ‘The gin closet’ should seat no more than 15 people and is expected to offer more than 40 varieties of gin and tonics.

“Our gin closet will snatch ‘the smallest gin bar’ tag from Tin of Sardines in Durham to become a landmark in the UK,” says Steve Blair, the director of WC construction company.

Following the success of his plan to convert the male toilets in Bigg market into a bar, Steve came up with the idea of renovating the female toilets as well. This is part of the Bigg Market redevelopment plan which aims to increase investments, provide more jobs and transform the city centre into a cultural hub.

“The idea is to come up with a bar that provides a wholesome experience,” says Steve. “We will have gin tastings and history sessions for those interested in knowing about the origin.”

These 18th century toilets have remained unused for over six years since the 2012 council budget cuts. Still in the approval process, Steve estimates three months for the construction work after it receives a green signal from the City council.

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