Hepworth Arcade's cool new gin school announces opening date
Artist's impression of how Hotham's Gin School at Hepworth's Arcade could look
By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 11 May 2018
A gin school and micro distillery is set to open in Hull’s Old Town in July after the owners were granted planning permission.
Hotham’s Gin School and Distillery will open in Hepworth’s Arcade, off Whitefriargate, at the start of July with work set to begin on transforming the two-storey unit in three weeks.
Owners Simon Pownall and Emma Kinton had to negotiate a staggering 34 licences before being given the go-ahead with planning permission and a premises licence the last two to be granted.
The new school will also focus on vodka alongside gin, with visitors to the distillery not only able to buy bottles of Hotham’s Gin, but also to join in a unique experience day where they will learn about the history of gin, botanicals and the gin making process, finally distilling their own unique bottle of gin to take home.
Mr Pownall said: “We are very pleased and relieved to have finally got all the permissions and licences in place which will allow us to open at the beginning of July.
'We're seeing a gin boom at the moment'
“We had to apply for 34 licences in total and finally got the premises licence and planning permission this week.
"We're seeing a big gin boom at the moment, with discerning drinkers showing interest in smaller producers and hand-crafted spirits.
“There is a real buzz about gin at the moment but we are also doing vodka as not everyone likes gin.”
Hotham's have sold their first bottle of gin
Mr Pownall admits it has been tough not being able to get started on the exciting plans until now.
'It's been difficult but we're looking forward to it'
He said: “We can now finally focus on making the preparations to open. We will truly get excited when we get the keys and allow the shop fitters in to begin work but we are most looking forward to the day we can welcome our first guests.
“It has been difficult for us to have a project plan in place but not be in a position to carry it out. But we are here now and we are looking forward to it.”
Other shop owners in the arcade have supported the new gin school plans, according to Mr Pownall.
He said: “There will be three or four weeks of work required and we are investing £30,000.
“It will be very sympathetic to the rest of the arcade and we have had a fantastic response from our neighbours who have been very supportive and excited by what we are planning.
Emma and Simon met over a gin and tonic back in January 2017. Their shared love of gin inspired their first date at a gin school in the Midlands, where they were inspired to think about developing their own gin recipe.
Hotham’s Ltd has launched not one, but two gins - Hotham’s Handcrafted Gin and Hotham’s Cardamom Gin – and the first bottle of was sold last month at an artisan and food market in Cottingham.
Visit their Facebook page or the website to find out more about Hotham's Gin School and Distillery.