Independent wine merchant The Vineking plans to open new premises at 38 Church Street, in addition to its two existing shops in the town.
Owner Erik Laan says the new location will operate on a hybrid model, allowing customers to buy wines to take home, but also to taste and enjoy on-site:
“Given the challenges faced by the high-street and retail, the focus has to be on offering a unique experience and this is what we aim to provide.
To help with this, we will be using “wine dispensing machines”, so people can come and taste a variety of wines.
It should be stressed that wine is very much the star here, and whilst we will be offering selections of cheeses, meats and breads, this is not a wine bar.
In Italy, shops like this are called enoteca, and in the UK there are a few wine merchants who have followed this path already.”
The new shop will also be The Vineking’s base for those who want to learn more about wine:
“We will also have two separate tasting rooms which is something we are getting increasing requests to host as we do have plenty of experience and knowledge.
We are also an acredited teacher of wine exams – WSET – which we will be running from these rooms too.
Finally, we will be occasionally hosting our very popular “pop up” restaurants here too.”
A licensing application has been filed for permitted hours of 8am to midnight, Monday to Sunday.
Music is included in the application – asked about that, Erik said:
“We might have the very occasional bit of jazz or acoustic guitar but mainly we will be playing music, just as we do in our shops, to help provide a great atmosphere.”
The Vineking already has two shops in Reigate – 28 Church Street and 4 West Road – as well as branches in Horley, Weybridge and East Molesley.
Licensing application 18/03845/LAPREM