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New wine bar and cafe for downtown Newport

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PLANS to open a new cafe and wine bar in Newport town center have been given a boost – with planning permission granted.

This means that work can now be carried out to convert the former estate agents’ office at 26 Bridge Street, which is located a stone’s throw from Newport station.

In November 2021 plans for the premises were first revealed, just days after Luscombe & Co revealed they would vacate the building, as part of a move to the Pill area of ​​the city.

It was then that a request was made to change the use of the building, from professional service to class A3 for catering premises.

According to planning documents, planning approval would see the ground floor unit undergo a major redevelopment, as part of plans to transform office space into “a licensed cafe/wine bar “.

The residential accommodation above is assumed to remain unchanged.

Outside, a brand new storefront and associated signage will be installed, along with down-firing lighting, to illuminate the signage.

When completed, the property will look very different from its present form.

Instead of its current red and white facade – courtesy of the most recent tenant, it would be painted a more subdued grey, something the applicant describes as “fresh to reflect contemporary café and wine bar culture. “.

According to a Newport City Council planning official, the existing storefront “has a negative impact on the area”.

Continuing, they stated that “the proposed storefront is more in keeping with the character and appearance of the conservation area than the existing addition and is a merit of the proposed project. It restores details such as the introduction of a cornice and mullions to the elevation of the building, which is encouraged in the orientation.

What else do we know about the new company?

Once operational, it is understood that the establishment will be known as Coffee Bar @ 26.

The plans were submitted by Bassaleg Skerryvore Designs on behalf of the applicant, New Forge Properties.

According to plans, the wine bar would employ three full-time and six part-time staff, with opening hours from 7 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 9 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Sundays and public holidays.

The applicant describes the proposed business as “a place where customers can have a coffee, a snack or just relax reading the newspaper or enjoying a glass of fine wine.

“It’s a place where you can feel comfortable meeting friends or working on the computer. The layout achieves this without detracting from the building and allows access to all areas, including washrooms.

“The simple name and downlighting of the signage add to the quality appearance.”

Plans to transform the site into a cafe and wine bar were approved by Newport City Council on Thursday March 17.