Floating bar to open at Exeter Quay

The canal at Exeter's historic Quay will soon have its first-ever floating bar. It is the latest new addition to Quayside Distillery off Haven Road and will have a capacity to cater for up to 70 people.

A floating platoon, measuring 11 metres by five metres, is currently being built outside the front of its premises opposite Topsham Brewery. It will be open morning, noon and night and will feature a seating area, fire pit and bar area with both food and drinks available.

The bar will be covered with a roof so that it can be enjoyed in all weathers. It will be called Floating Bar at Quayside Distillery and is expected to open either at the end of the month or the beginning of June.

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Independently owned Quayside Distillery opened nearly two years ago by George Nightingale, the owner of Spoken in Exmouth, and distiller Dan Tripp. During that time it has changed from being a restaurant with a gin school to being a private hire venue where people can still learn distillation methods and sample spirits made onsite.

The base of what will become the Floating Bar at Quayside Distillery
The base of what will become the Floating Bar at Quayside Distillery -Credit:Quayside Distillery

Excited to be bringing something new to Exeter, George said: "After two years of applying and applying for a licence, we have been given the go-ahead to provide something really unique and different for the Quay. It will be an outside dining and drinking area on the water.

"There's nothing else like it and closest thing Exeter has to it is the River Exe Cafe in Exmouth or a floating bar in Bristol. It will be a really cosy, intimate area to celebrate and relax in a unique setting. It is being astroturfed to make it a comfortable space on the water.

"Our inside area will also be open so people will discover a little hidden gem on the Quay which until now has gone unnoticed."

The 'casual dining' menu it will serve is still being created but the idea is for it to open at 9am for coffee and breakfast followed by a lunchtime and then dinner menu. There will also be more additions to the drink menu currently available at Quayside Distillery.