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Vinopolis takes the plunge!

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Thursday 25 March 2004 3.41pm

So, the rumours are that Vinopolis is cutting back on it's wine exhibition (has anyone been? ever?) and possibly putting in a fitness club (including a swimming pool !!).

there might be a new bar/restaurant and even a micro-brewery (in arch 198).

If all this is within their existing building, that sounds fun - and a better use of their space. Whine Wharf is really busy now - although they still book in lots of tedious office parties - so another dwinking place sounds a sage idea.

But then I don't live in Clink Street, if I did I might be thinking very differently.

Southwark planning office haven't even looked at the submissons yet but no doubt once it is official, there will be plenty of interest.

The SleuthBus.
Thursday 25 March 2004 3.46pm

Redbus -
'xcuse my ignorance [being a Newbie], where is this place ? What is it ?

Having delved into some of the past posts, I'm gonna give La Cave a run for it's money next week. Anyone upferrit ?

Heh heh the milkybars are on me heh
Thursday 25 March 2004 3.52pm
I saw that they are now serving coffee (one free coffee every day until April or something). I assumed that this was because with the opening of the Victor Wharf building in Clink St which has a bar/coffee/food place on the ground floor opening soon they were trying to be competitive. The wine tasting is good fun - they keep lowering the prices as well. Never been to the Wine Wharf though - is it any good? Only live on Park St, so no excuse really. I think it is a great idea. We need more stuff round there and there are always plenty of people milling around at weekends.
Thursday 25 March 2004 4.39pm
G00se wrote:
>'xcuse my ignorance [being a Newbie],
>where is this place ? What is it ?


The new coffee thing sound like an entry for pseud's corner....

"Cafe Vino is a new joint-venture between Cafe Origin, specialists in single estate coffees and Vinopolis, the "Cathedral of Wine". Visitors are encouraged to taste the distinctive characteristics of coffees from around the world and to consider the various synergies between the bean and the grape. Comparisons are invited from the similarity of features and husbandry, to the almost identical vocabulary used to describe the aroma, body and flavour of both wines and coffees.

The audio-visual information, photos, illustrations and tasting opportunities within the "coffee bar" respond to an increasingly discriminating consumer, seeking to explore the world of coffee. In many ways this trend mirrors the demand conditions evident at the beginning of the UK wine market evolution, 10 years ago.

The opening of Cafe Vino is a further initiative and evidence of the Vinopolis management's ambitious transformation plans to attract more visitors from both home and abroad.

Cafe Origin's choice of venue for their flagship site has an added historical relevance, as coffee was known as the "wine of Arabia" when first introduced to Europe in 1615."
Thursday 25 March 2004 5.07pm

"Cathedral of Wine"

Thursday 25 March 2004 6.57pm
always thought Vinopolis was in danger of disappearing up its own bottom since the tv documentary about Borough a few years turned out to be a thinly disguised promo for the place and the huntin' shootin' and fishin' escapades of the chap in charge. The best moment was when his car [a jag] got a ticket in Park Street - welcome to SE1 guv. The wine expo is very dull and I fear they are about to do the same to coffee - but at least it contrasts nicely with the more down to earth endeavours of Monmouth up the road, where you can get a run down on the various attributes of the coffees on offer for free!
Thursday 25 March 2004 7.55pm
The whole museum/tasting thing is just a front for their real business which is corporate entertaining. It makes it sound all cultural and worthy - easier to get support from Southwark and others, and the several million quid I understand they got from English Partnerships (correct me if I'm wrong please)

Regarding planning permission, they may not even need it, because I recall that when submitting their original planning application, they also put in another as a 'fallback plan' if their business failed - and thats the health club etc. I dont exactly remember the outcome (maybe someone else does) but dont rely on being 'consulted' by the planners because you may already have missed the boat when it slipped through years ago.
Friday 26 March 2004 8.49am


Planning permissions have a finite life if they are not used (5 years, currently being reduced to 3 I think).

As Vinopolis has been there a few years, it has probably run out - mind you I can't see it being difficult to get a new one...


Friday 26 March 2004 8.57am
I was once struggling down Newcomen street trying to carry home more slabs of beer than is realistically possible. A stranger, seeing my predicament offered to help and carried one of them for me even though it was out of his way. As we were chatting it turned out he was one of the guys setting up Vinopolis.
A right gent he was.
Friday 26 March 2004 9.57am
re "Cathedral of Wine"

Of course this isn't the first time that the site has generated pseud's corner prose...

What feels like a lifetime ago (autumn of 1995), when the arches had just been cleared of their previous "old-SE1" warehousing tenants, they were used for a "performance" art piece "HG" by Robert Wilson. It was a great experience, but some of the critical responses it generated were slightly OTT.

Wandering around the completely empty arched spaces lit only by a few bare lightbulbs was just as eerie as the undercroft of Durham cathedral.

As Vinopolis, it is all far too wholesome looking!

Post edited (26 Mar 04 10:02)
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