Harveys Cellars is to open as a sherry and tapas bar, in the former home of the world-famous Harveys Bristol Cream.
The former Harveys restaurant, which held a coveted Michelin star until its closure in 2003, has been bought by property developer Clinton McLeary, with the aim of bringing sherry back to Denmark St and tapping into the current vogue of drinking sherry.
Clinton and business manager Claire Judd are working to create an upmarket bar where fine Sherries from Harveys, including the VORS range, will be served with tapas dishes that have been especially devised to compliment them.
The new venture is expected to be a big hit with the local business market who wants something individual and stylish as well as the theatre crowd and tourists.
Bristol businessman Clinton, 46, knew immediately that this historic site was right for his business and he and Claire have spent the last 6 months bringing the building back to life and researching the Harveys heritage.
The original Harveys restaurant was designed and built by Sir Terrance Conran, in 1961 and featured simply-pained brick walls and Hans Wenger furniture. Along with the museum, Harveys was a Bristol ‘destination’ for over 40 years. Harveys Cellars retains much of the 1960’s feel along with modern furnishings and a new ‘island’ bar.
The content of the original Harveys museum was sold off in 2003 and the collection dispersed. There will be a new small museum of Harveys memorabilia that Clinton and Claire have scoured the internet in order to trace original items which have been bought or borrowed from private collectors to create the new museum area. They have even found the original baby grand piano that once entertained diners and which will take pride of place in the new bar area.
They also hope, in time, to be able to expose parts of the building that have been bricked up for years and which are believed to lead to the original tunnels that once ran from Harveys cellars to the dockside.
The heritage of the brand and the site should mean that Harveys Cellars will be a great attraction for Bristol’s tourist trade, being also just few steps away from the historic Harbourside.
Claire Judd said: “Harveys is huge in America and there is a big tourist trade that we are hoping to tap into. We are always getting people popping in to see what we are up to and there is a lot of interest in the brand. I am feeling very confident about the project.”
Find out more at www.harveyscellars.co.uk or call 0117 929 4812