'It's something different' - Belgian-style bar given green light

René van den Oort (right) with his son Max, both from Beautiful Beers. Max will run the new Belgian-style beer bar

René van den Oort (right) with his son Max, of the family-business Beautiful Beers in Bury St Edmunds. Max will run the new Belgian-style beer bar - Credit: Beautiful Beers

A Belgian-style beer bar is set to join Bury St Edmunds town centre after being granted planning permission.

René van den Oort, owner of the Beautiful Beers shop in St John's Street in the town, said it had been a long-held ambition to open the bar, which will be in the former RSPCA charity shop in St Andrew's Street South.

He said they had hundreds of requests from Beautiful Beers customers for somewhere they can drink Belgian beers.

Max (left) said they had taken inspiration from traditional Belgian tap houses

Max (left) said they had taken inspiration from traditional Belgian tap houses - Credit: Beautiful Beers

His planning application for unit A and B the Old Stable House was granted planning approval by West Suffolk Council last week, with Mr van den Oort adding they hope to open in six to eight weeks.

Mr van den Oort said: "It's very exciting. It's something very different and very new.

"It's going to be an unusual concept in that it will be mainly beers - a beer bar - not spirits or anything like that and rather than concentrating on the food side of things we are actually doing the opposite and concentrating on the beer side and food is secondary."

René van den Oort, owner of Beautiful Beers in Bury St Edmunds, who has had plans approved for a Belgian-style beer bar

René van den Oort, owner of Beautiful Beers in Bury St Edmunds, who has had plans approved for a Belgian-style beer bar in the town - Credit: Archant

However, he said they would offer a selection of meat platters, cheese, bread and snacks.

Customers will be able to order food in to eat at the venue, and Mr van den Oort said they hope to link up with food suppliers like local takeaways.

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His son Max, who will run the new bar, said they drew inspiration from traditional Belgian tap houses, like those in Bruges and Brussels.

He said: "We want more people to be interested in this kind of beer and more experimental with the styles they drink and where the beers come from."

They plan to create a friendly space where like-minded people can socialise and share their thoughts on the beers on offer.

Max said they are aiming to have 10/15 taps, which will include some English and world beers, plus bottles from Belgium, and a cider tap - "any we like and find exciting".

The bar will be at the former RSPCA charity shop in St Andrew's Street South

The bar will be at the former RSPCA charity shop in St Andrew's Street South - Credit: Google

Breweries not as well known locally will also be given exposure at the drinking establishment, which will be a free house. 

A lack of disabled toilets was raised in an objection by Bury St Edmunds Town Council.

Max said they had tried to include them, but there were constraints in making the necessary physical changes to the building.

There will be a bar and seating area on the ground floor, with the bulk of the seating plus toilets upstairs. It will be table service only.

The opening hours are restricted to 11am to 11pm. A premises licence to serve alcoholic drinks has already been granted.

  • The family business is looking for staff for the new bar. Anyone interested should contact Beautiful Beers in St John's Street on 01284 767205 or email them.