A new wine bar has been taking shape underneath a popular entertainment venue.
Hargreaves Wine Bar enjoy a soft opening on Friday and Saturday night before officially opening next week in the same building as live music venue Piano Bar.
Owner Aaron Skinner said his team had always planned to open a second business in the building on the corner of Hargreaves and Williamson streets with the COVID-19 pandemic slow them down.
"The hardest part for us was signing the lease on the entire building in February, 2020, right when (the pandemic) started," he said. "Our plan would have been to open Piano Bar and a month later open this."
Initial capacity restrictions will suit the wine bar. Mr Skinner said he is aiming for the space to hold up to 60 people when restrictions ease.
"The space is quite an intimate space," he said. "So we are aiming for that 30 to 60 people mark. We don't want a crowded bar environment, it is a relaxed, elegant space where people can enjoy good wine or a cocktail."
Hargreaves Wine Bar will officially open next week but a soft opening is planned for this weekend.
"There's been a lot of changes in the last week or so and it has really come together," he said. "We are so proud of the space we have created.
"Initially, we will start with evening session but as we get more staff and people involved we will open early afternoons and in mornings for coffee and bagels.
"We really want to capitalise on the amazing growth Bendigo has got with the GovHub and Justice Hubs with people returning to work (in the CBD)."
Mr Skinner said plans had always been to throw open the doors in line with Victoria opening up for business.
"It has been all steam ahead working to those dates," he said. "In Piano Bar it has been difficult even at that 30 person limit, so teh keyt date for us is November 5 when we can get to 50 per cent capacity.
"Piano Bar sessions are selling out thanks to Bendigo community. We never wanted to change ticket prices but when you're limited to 20 people (in the audience) you have to put a price on that for entertainment we provide. But without Bendigo's support, we couldn't make it happen.
"Those session don't make us money. It's about keep performers and staff engaged so have we them on the other side (of reopening). The next difficulty for us is recruitment in hospitality. A lot of hospitality workers have gone to retail or other sectors."
Hargreaves Wine Bar will initially open on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 5pm to 11pm.
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