What is the project?
Preston’s former Baptist Church, which has stood on Fishergate for 160 years, is to be converted in to a restaurant.
The French restaurant chain Bistrot Pierre has now been given planning permission to convert the former church, which has been empty since it closed in 2011. It has announced that the new eaterie will be opening in Spring 2018.
What will be done to the building?
The outside of the Grade II listed building, which was built in 1858 by James Hibbert, will remain largely unchanged apart from the addition of a decking area and glazed inserts into the arches. Inside, the space will be opened up into an area to seat more than 200 diners – 164 inside with space for an extra 50 outside. The restaurant chain says it plans to keep as many original features of the church as possible. Co-owner Rob Beacham said: “We’re very excited to be opening in such an incredible space. It’s a prime location – opposite Fishergate Shopping Centre, adjacent to the busy train station and within walking distance of Preston Guild Hall; we couldn’t have asked for a better site. “No two bistrots in France are the same and this is an ethos we endeavour to encapsulate when designing our own bistrots. “We’ve never opened a bistrot in a church before so I thoroughly look forward to supporting its restoration and breathing a new lease of life into such a fabulous old building. The beautiful high ceilings and intricate window details are features I’m particularly excited about – it’s going to be a breath-taking space.
What’s on the menu?
Bistrot Pierre specialises in French cuisine and models itself on the traditional bistrots of small French towns. Best-selling dishes include boeuf bourguignon and steak frites.