New cafe and wine bar planned for Carlisle city centre

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The former shop
The former shop

A touch of ooh-la-la could be introduced into Carlisle city centre – as a bar owner looks to expand his operations.

Paul McAleenan, who already owns Gallaghers Irish pub in Botchergate, has applied for planning permission to open a French-style cafe and wine bar in the former News At 15 shop in Warwick Road.

The new venture, next to Dempsey’s bar-restaurant and opposite The Halston aparthotel, is expected to employ one full-time and four part-time members of staff.

The ground-floor cafe bar, which will be decked out with timber and stained glass, is being designed by architects Abacus Building Design of Longtown.

John Sanderson, Abacus’ managing director, explained the aim was to revamp the Grade II listed building to help further regenerate the street, which is now home to several bars and restaurants.

He said: “After the premises closed as a newsagents, Mr McAleenan bought the property with the purpose of turning it into a French-style wine bar.

“It will be a cafe on weekdays and a wine bar on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.

“We think it will add to the ambience of Warwick Road, which already has a number of bars and restaurants, further regenerating the area while bringing a jobs boost.”

Mr Sanderson said in addition to the cafe bar, Mr McAleenan was planning to develop three studio flats and bedsits on the first floor with separate bathrooms.

News At 15, previously Sewells, was one of Carlisle’s best-known newsagent shops for many years.

It had previously been a pub and electrical shop.

It was taken over and renamed News At 15 in 2015 by Mike Simpson.

He played first team rugby at Carlisle Rugby Club for 12 years and has been involved with the club for more than 30 years.

An application for full planning consent for the new venture has gone to Carlisle City Council for approval.

It is expected that a decision will be made towards the end of June.

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