Roc & Rye gets the nod in Grade II-listed building opposite Hotel Gotham

A NEW craft coffee and cocktail bar has finally been given the go ahead for renovation work to begin, transforming the ground floor of a Grade II-listed former warehouse at 60 Spring Gardens (pictured).

As Confidential reported back in September (read here), the new 150-capacity bar will be the first venture for business partners Matthew Bonner, Maritza Haydon and itinerant local bartender Sean Finnegan, formerly of Red's, Kosmonaut and Ithaca.

After some delay, due to the historic building’s location within Upper King Street's conservation area, planning was granted to HOW Planning on behalf of the bar operators to begin work on designs by architectural practice Pickard Design, who are keen to reinstate some of the buildings original features on the ground floor.

.Roc & Rye will have a strong focus on craft coffee and rye whiskey

The building - sold by Aviva last year for £7 million - was originally designed by Alfred Waterhouse, the prolific architect behind such buildings as Manchester Town Hall, The Principal Hotel (formerly the Refuge Assurance Company Building) and London’s Natural History Museum.

“This is going to be a real restoration project,” explained Finnegan when we spoke to him last year. “This is a beautiful building that’s been empty for far too long.

“The ceilings here are incredible, and Matthew is currently working on reclaiming a huge oak dance floor from the twenties. It’s going to be something else.”

As the name suggests, rye will feature heavily with a strong focus on whiskey, together with craft coffee and an all day menu which sources locally, celebrating the region’s best artisan producers. The unit has been granted a 10am-3am alcohol license, seven days a week.

.Roc & Rye will open on the ground floor of 60 Spring Gardens