Q&A with Mark Such of The Wine Cellar, Brighton
Your name, address and age and some background about you:
Mark Such, Marlborough Place, Brighton. I have over 26 years within the industry, throughout the UK and Europe, ranging from pubs, clubs, hotels, and restaurants.. And for the last 13 years I have been residing in Ye Olde King and Queen.
What is your venue called, where is it and when was it established?
The Wine Cellar, 17 Marlborough Place, situated next door to Ye Olde King and Queen. The idea of creating a new venue sprung to mind in Feb 2021, midway through lockdown, and we then opened on September 18th 2021.
Tell us about the wine and food you serve
We have over 60 different wines within The Wine Cellar from many different parts of the world. We hand selected each and every wine to make sure the range is broad and has something for everyone. We have accompanied our wine list with an exclusive cheese and meat selection, with only the best sourdough breads and olives to add in too. Its important to us that every customers needs are catered for so we have gone above and beyond to select only the finest products to serve.
Local produce platters from The Cheese Man
Are you using any local producers for wine/food – how important is that to your business model?
Also providing English Sparkling wines, this is something that as the climate across the globe is increasing, there are now some fantastic wines being produced from England. We have kicked off with our first English Sparkling wines on our menu with the Hush Heath Balfour being grown on vineyards in Kent, and Ashling Park Sparkling being produced in West Sussex.
How did the idea for your business come about?
During the COVID-19 Pandemic, no 17 Marlborough Place was an office space that we were letting out, however due to the difficult times the residents of the space handed their notice in. Due to the timing, it wasn’t going to be soon that another company would come and fill the space, and it would just be yet another empty building in Brighton.
After running the King and Queen for 13 years, I was ready for something a little bit different. The King and Queen obviously has its historic elements around the building, but what some people may not know is that in 1931, the Edlin Family who were the proprietors of the building used to bottle wine in the cellar. To this day, we still have the original bottle corking industrial machine in the cellar area of King and Queen. So The Wine Cellar originated from the historical artifacts from the pub, and it was important to bring these elements into a new bar.
Although The Wine Cellar is situated next door to the pub, the idea was to create a space for the older generation of customers who would much rather chill out with a glass of wine without the crazy atmosphere of the football cheering fans. We have created a completely diverse bar to what we’re used to and it just made sense to be able to cater to another demographic of audience.
Another aspect of The Wine Cellar, is the sociability of the venue. We get a lot of customer from the local surrounding area, and its really nice to actually be able to meet our neighbours and be able to learn more about an area that I’ve lived in for 13 years.
The Wine Cellar, Brighton
You’ve opened at some would see as a challenging time for a new hospitality business – why is now a good opportunity to launch?
Although it might be a challenging time , opportunities stand out to you and I felt that this was my opportunity to branch out. After the Covid-19 lockdowns, everyone was in such a rush to be social again, so this was a brilliant time to be able to offer a new venue to our local community. And as a venue to bring people back together again. It has been really rewarding to create a positive situation from the negative few years we have all had.
What would you like to tell people about your business?
The Wine Cellar has an open door to all, we are here to assist you whether you know anything about wine and cheese or not. We are also learning new things as we are establishing and we really want people to just walk in our venue and feel comfortable, have a laugh and let their hair down.
What are your plans/hopes for the future?
The Wine Cellar is going to be a project that continues for many years in the future. I aspire for The Wine Cellar to be known as stockist of bespoke, premium wines with new upcoming products appearing as specials too. About 70% of the wines listed in our menu are Vegan, and we plan to branch out to provide a vegan snacks menu in the future too. Along with introducing the fantastic wines that are appearing around the UK to our menu along the way.
We plan to try and keep The Wine Cellar as green as possible by working with local suppliers and community. To create a local community based hub where people can come and chill with a glass of wine on any evening of the week.