The anticipation and excitement of a new eaterie, café or bar opening really floats my boat. Derby’s newest bar, the Orange Tree, is due to open its doors less than a month after a complete renovation of what was known as Bar 5 on George Street in the city centre. Dating back to 1911, the building was originally built as offices for the local gas works, and its new owners are working hard to bring back some of that post-Victorian charm.
Split over two floors, the Orange tree will open during the evenings with a heavy focus on cocktails using only premium spirits, craft beers and an extensive gin selection.
Downstairs, cozy booth seating and snug areas will give it the feeling of stepping back in time – perhaps into a low lit private member’s club – with lots of sumptuous velvet and historic quirks. Upstairs, with exposed beams and a second bar, is ideal for private parties and functions, with room for up to 100 people. There is also some outside space, perfect for catching those post work rays or for cooling down on late summer evenings.
General Manager Patrick Bogie has been involved with the planning from day one. He’s already designed the drinks menu and as previous Assistant Manager at the groups’ popular late night venue ‘The Kelso’ in Loughborough, he knows a thing or two about cocktails.
Patrick said: “I’ve loved being able to get involved in the planning stages of the Orange Tree and I’ve been able to build a cocktail menu from scratch. In keeping with the building, it features lots of classic vintage cocktails such as the Negroni which is a gin based drink, in this case using local distillery Burleigh’s London Dry gin, but I’ve also added some unusual and very modern options such as the pineapple and sage margarita.”
There will be a good selection of beers too with local ale and craft on offer and a wine selection created by Leicestershire based Matt Francis Fine Wines,
Owners Ben Hings and Gareth Smith have been friends since meeting at college over 30 years ago and take a very hands on approach to their business. Since opening their first bar in 1997 (now something of an institution on the High Street in Leicester) they’ve gone on to successfully open and run six venues across the East Midlands. They fell on the bar in Derby almost by accident, having actually been looking at other places around the area.
Gareth (who’s known by almost everyone around him as ‘Pugsy’) said: “We have been looking for a new bar to add to the group for over a year now and have long had our eyes on Derby. We were actually viewing somewhere else in the city when we came across this place and just fell in love with the building. It’s going to be a really great addition to our business and will hopefully be somewhere the people of Derby will love to visit.”
The Orange tree which is due to open its doors to the public on Friday 23rd September, will offer something a little different to both locals and students alike. It’ll be a place to relax with friends, enjoy good drinks and music in a really exciting environment.