A NEW gin bar is planned for the site of a former café in Chester city centre.

SBNW Ltd, a business specialising in pubs and bars, has submitted a premises licence for the former Barista's Coffee Co. site at the top of Watergate Street.

The new name for the currently vacant site would be Providence Gin, named after its historic location, God's Providence House.

The premises application is listed to permit the sale of alcohol and the playing of music, both recorded and live, between 10am and 30 minutes past midnight, with an additional 30 minutes of opening until 1am.

Property consultants Kenney Moore say the ground-floor site, which is currently under offer, is "truly a character property with a wealth of exposed sandstone throughout", with limited al-fresco seating available on the pavement outside, subject to local authority licensing.

The firm added: "This historic centre is famous for its two-level trading arrangement known as ‘The Rows’ and this shop forms part of a very well known historic landmark building called ‘God's Providence House’."

The Grade II-listed building had a 17th century wooden carving, with the inscription 'God's providence is mine inheritance'.

It was created along with the house in 1652, as the site was where residents had previously survived a horrific plague in 1647-48 which wiped out 40 per cent of Chester's then-5,000 population.

Should the licence be approved, Providence Gin would join a plethora of food and drink venues to open on Watergate Street in recent years.

Such places include Vin Santo, Panna Coffee, Palm Cocktail Bar and Eatery, Insert Dessert, Stile Napoletano, Assembly, Hamayuu and the reopened The Guild Chester, with Upstairs at the Grill currently undergoing an upgrade.