Preston's latest city centre venue to open for Christmas trade as a pop-up bar

An architect's view of how the Uptown Pony Club in Friargate will eventually look.
An architect's view of how the Uptown Pony Club in Friargate will eventually look.

The latest addition to Preston’s city centre night scene is expected to be serving customers before Christmas - but only from a pop-up bar.

Work on converting a former skateboard shop in Friargate into a new upmarket venue called the Uptown Pony Club has been given the thumbs up by councillors.

But in a bid to tap into the busy pre-Christmas trade, a temporary bar is being opened inside the property, with work on the new bar and restaurant not scheduled to begin until the New Year.

Once completed, the eye-catching venue, designed by Studio John Bridge who were project architects for Preston Market Hall, will have a bar and pizza restaurant at ground level, with a multi-use events room, art gallery and office accommodation on the two upper floors.

It is expected the Pony Club will be fully opened by the summer, serving customers from 8am to 2am, seven days a week and employing five full-time staff and 15 part-time.

The property, on the corner of Friargate and Heatley Street, was previously occupied by the skate shop Scene.and before that the Pronuptia bridal boutique.

Council planners have imposed conditions on the use of the upper floors and the outdoor smoking area which will restrict use up to midnight to reduce the impact on nearby residents.

Noise restrictions will also be imposed on the downstairs bar area.

In a planning statement submitted to Preston Council earlier this year, the architects said: “A bar and restaurant of this type of quality will work very well in harmony with the likes of the Plau and the refurbishment of the Northern Way.

“The co-working space to the first and second floor will provide a much-needed provision to attractive rustic office space for anything from start-ups to mature small businesses, of which the proximity to UCLan will provide graduates a nearby private business venue.”