Coffee shop in bid to expand premises

Bohemia's opening event was held earlier this year. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Bohemia's opening event was held earlier this year. Picture: CONTRIBUTED - Credit: Archant

A St Neots coffee shop and restaurant wants to expand into neighbouring premises.

Bohemia, which is in Cross Keys Mews, has applied to Huntingdonshire District Council for permission to change the use of Stephen's Butchers and Delicatessen to create more customer space.

It is also seeking listed building consent to carry out the work which will unify the appearance of the two units in the mews at the former Cross Keys Hotel, which dates back to the 17th century.

Bohemia wants to strip out the butcher's equipment and cold room, to create new openings to link the units, provide new decorative features and seating and to expose historic features, with customers coming in through the main Bohemia front door.

A design statement submitted as part of the application, said: "Following the success of Bohemia at number 16 and 20 Cross Keys Mews our client Bohemia would like to expand their seating area and operating facilities into number 21.

"Our client would like to maintain and have visual continuity throughout the spaces of the exposed interior brickwork."

It said vinyl flooring would be stripped back to expose timber floorboards similar to those in Bohemia and they would then be restored. Wall tiles would be removed to expose the brickwork, creating continuity between the two areas.

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The statement said: "The layout of the cafe will be improved with additional seating. Customers will enjoy a much more relaxed atmosphere with focus on the building's historic characteristics, complemented with the Bohemia brand.

"Customer areas will also benefit from an improved ambulant accessible WC for users, accessible within unit 20."

A new staff doorway would provide better circulation for staff and a window which had been hidden by an infill section of wall would be exposed, improving natural light and ventilation.

The statement said signage for the butchers would be removed and replaced by Bohemia signs.

Cross Keys Mews was created from the historic Cross Keys Hotel in 1986, creating a link from the Priory Lane area through to the High Street. It now has more than a dozen outlets.