Bid for new £25k gin emporium in Royal Arcade

Sophie Wyllie

Sophie Wyllie | 10 Mar 2022, 16:00

A pair of drinks bosses are hoping to expand their city centre empire by opening a gin-making academy and shop in the Royal Arcade.

Gyre and Gimble, which was initially opened as a bar and distillery in Charing Cross in November 2019, launched its gin-making sessions in 2020.

And due to its popularity the brand is not only expanding its current site but is also opening a new location.

Therefore plans have gone for a unit in the historic Royal Arcade to be used for drink-making workshops and tasting sessions as well as a shop.

The bar will remain in business.

Mr Allison, from Costessey, has applied to Norwich City Council for a premises licence to open the academy and store in a former antiques shop.

He hopes it will open this July after a £25,000 fit out.

He said: “We have outgrown the space at Charing Cross. The Royal Arcade has so much potential. It is in a central spot and we are over the moon with our new site.”

The businessman said he and his co-director want the new site to act as a shopping experience for visitors to the city attraction.

Mr Allison, 33,  believed the Royal Arcade, built in 1899 by George Skipper, was used as a rat run rather than a shopping destination.

The dad-of-one added that a £1.5m food hall, due to open in the former Jamie’s Italian restaurant this summer, would attract people to the small shopping precinct as well as more businesses through the overall rejuvenation project.

The academy and shop would be open Monday to Sunday and its space would allow for extra gin-making sessions to take place.

It currently has one a day for three days a week and attracts around 50 people a month.

The enterprise would also employ a team of people and look to sell a variety of drinks, from wines and rums to whisky and vodka.

Despite opening just before the lockdown, Gyre and Gimble, which makes three gins and one vodka, did better than expected by adapting to the challenges including selling drinks online.

The distillery expansion is due to start in two weeks’ time.