Hammonds of Hull's transformation into bowling and games bar takes next step as plans lodged

Hammonds of Hull will be offering food, drinks, and live music
The application would see the unit occupied by Hammonds of Hull, seen in operation here, brought back into use -Credit:Hull Live

The former Hammonds of Hull food hall's reinvention as a bowling alley and adult games bar has taken its next step with a planning application now lodged.

Plans from Lane 7 Ltd would see bowling alleys, karaoke rooms, beer pong and shuffle board tables and arcade games including axe throwing put into the building's empty ground floor. The application stated it would also feature a bar serving drinks and snacks and see new signage fitted to the former department store which still features Hammonds of Hull's branding.

The application, which follows the approval of an alcohol licence for the venue, comes just over a year after the food hall closed its doors for the final time on Monday, March 6. Hammonds of Hull opened to much fanfare in December 2021 when it took over the ground floor of what was previously House of Fraser, hosting food concessions, bars and music.


But it closed following months of dwindling footfall as operators Artisan Food Hall HoH Ltd began a legal dispute with the building's owners which has since been discontinued. Lane 7's plans would see 11 bowling alleys installed on the right of the entrance from Ferensway.

Plans also include six pool tables and six shuffle boards along with four beer pong tables and six for table tennis. Proposed arcade games include an Axe Master virtual throwing machine, a Pump It Up dance stage, air hockey, and four NBA basketball hoops.

Stock and furniture has been removed from inside the Hammonds of Hull food hall
The empty interior of Hammonds of Hull shortly after its closure on Monday, March 6 -Credit:James Hoggarth

There would also be two karaoke rooms along with seating areas. Lane 7's approved licence would see alcohol served from 10am to 1am, Monday to Sunday.

The company's venues are aimed at families during the day but are for adults only after 7pm, when IDs are required for entry. The company has sites in Manchester, Birmingham, Bath, Newcastle, Sheffield, Leicester, Aberdeen, Liverpool, London, Edinburgh, Bristol and Durham.

There are also plans to expand into Cardiff, York, Belfast, Altrincham and Milton Keynes. The planning application follows the announcement in February of works worth £2m, to bring the building's basement, third and fourth floors back into use.

The refurbishments include turning areas into offices and an event space, with £1.91m in private funding and £315,000 from a levelling up grant. Lane 7's plans would see the ground floor opened to the public for the first time since Hammonds of Hull closed.

The food hall got off to a promising start but it was followed by the departure of some concessions from the Summer of 2023 onwards. It was initially popular and welcomed but faced criticism in part due to the prices of some of its locally sourced products which included beer, wine and sweets.

Attempts at a revival amid waning interest including with a World Cup Fanzone failed to reverse its fortunes. Hammond of Hull closed in March last year. Its interior was stripped of stock, fixtures and fittings and its windows covered up and it has been empty ever since.