Plans for Hull's Humber Street to get a wine bar and deli
By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 16 May 2018
A delicatessen and wine bar is set to open its doors this summer in Hull’s Fruit Market after a £250,000 investment.
The daytime delicatessen and evening wine bar and bistro has been built inside a crumbling former fruit and veg warehouse in Humber Street, and will be known as J Johnson in honour of the late Jack Johnson - a legendary figure from the decades when the Fruit Market was the home of the city’s wholesale fruit and veg trade.
The two-storey building at 59 Humber Street dates back 170 years and was originally a chapel. It had been disused for 10 years or more and developers Wykeland Beal faced numerous challenges in reversing the ravages of time and making it fit for purpose, while retaining its character.
The project is the most extensive delivered so far on a single building by Wykeland Beal, as part of the ongoing regeneration of the Fruit Market, and took place over a four-month period.
From left, Chris Estaugh, Jason Gittens, Tom Watson and Dan Robinson
Tom Watson, development surveyor at Wykeland, speaking on behalf of Wykeland Beal, said: “The repair and refurbishment of number 59 has been quite a challenge. It really was in a terrible state and in many ways this project amounted to a complete rebuild, while retaining the shell of the building.
“The roof was dilapidated, exposing the building to damage from rainwater and the elements generally and the upper floor was absolutely smothered in pigeon droppings.
“The team from Voase builders have done a great job and the end result is that we have been able to rescue a building that was nearing the point of no return.
“It demonstrates our commitment to preserve, restore and refurbish buildings in and around Humber Street, whenever structurally and economically viable.”
Humber Street in October, 1983. (Image: Hull Daily Mail)
Jack Johnson owned the building with his brother Percy when it was last in use, and it will be the latest venue when it opens in July from the owners of one of the pioneering venues in the reinvention of the Fruit Market.
Business partners Chris Eastaugh, Jason Gittens and Dan Robinson have established Butler Whites – also named after former fruit and veg traders – as one of Hull’s most popular eateries, offering casual, bistro-style dining, building on the reputation they established with Larkin’s bar and restaurant, and the former Henry Yeast bistro and bar, both in Newland Avenue.
Mr Eastaugh said: “We were first shown the building about a year ago when it was heavily infested with pigeons but, despite that, I just fell in love with it. It’s so original, with so much heritage.
“Back then it was like walking into a horror film – we had to get fully kitted up to enter. The stairs were falling down, the ceiling was coming through, there were holes in walls, every single window was smashed to pieces and the back of the building needed fully repairing. That’s where the extension has gone in to provide the space to make the business viable.
"Wykeland Beal were as passionate about the building as we were and we have worked so well with them to realise our concept for the building. They have followed through on everything and to a very high standard.
“We couldn’t have asked for any more and all the work carried out has been really sympathetic to the character of the building. Now we will be putting something new into something old and providing a glimpse into the past.”