First tenants revealed as international coffee operator takes prime spot at iconic building – The Hive


ONE of Warrington town centre’s iconic buildings, The Hive, has secured the international coffee operator Black Sheep Coffee, backed by basketball star Kristaps Porzingi, for their prime unit cornering Cairo Street and Sankey Street.

The London-based speciality coffee shop operator Black Sheep Coffee plans to open at The Hive WA1 development in the heart of Warrington town centre in the former TJ Hughes and Co-op building- as the first new tenants have been revealed.

Black sheep Coffee has taken a 2,500 square feet space on a 15-year lease. They currently operate 51 sites in the UK, plus one in Paris and are expanding into the United States after receiving investment from basketball player Kristaps Porzingi, who is a seven-foot-three Latvian, he plays in the NBA for Dallas Mavericks and is one of the world’s highest-paid athletes.

‘The Hive WA1’ is a three-storey corner property covering a massive 80,000 sq ft. Work is underway to convert the building to a one stop destination for a number of facets and be a busy hive of activity for both work and play. The ground floor space is nearing the completion of its transformation into a Boutique Shopping Mall.

Alongside Black Sheep coffee, Ben Rafferty, a specialist retail hospitality consultant working with the landlord, revealed it is in legals with several operators to take space within the premises.

Meanwhile, Pendergast Steakhouse will be taking over the old Mojo’s Tapas Bar on Cairo Street, creating a premium steak restaurant and bar, using local suppliers and live entertainment at weekends.

Ruddies Pizza, a local family-run pizza business, that has traded over the last few years, has taken space to operate a take-away facility.

Brighella’s Gelateria is operating a traditional Italian ice cream bar facing onto Sankey Street. Born from a traditional Italian ice cream family, dating back to the 40’s, it will be selling a wide range of ice cream and sorbet flavours.

First Floor houses the 7,000 square-foot Brass Monkey sports bar that opened in May 2022 and has shuffleboards, ping pong, pool, live stage and DJ booth. In addition there has been 3,700
square feet let to local businesses for offices and 5,000 square feet being made available for a Co-Working office space.

The Second floor is home to the original Members Hall from 1910 where a plaque celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Warrington Co-Operative Society (then known as Warrington Equitable Industrial Co-Operative Society). The Memorial Hall would have been used by the members for events and a plaque in situ was kept up to date with details of presidents until the outbreak of World War II. The plan is to reinvent a 14,700 sq ft space in 2023 into a large conference and banqueting facility and breath life back into it.

Plans are progressing to seek permission for a panoramic Sky Garden on the roof. There is a large 10,000 sq ft flat roof space that offers incredible views to the West. Plans show an island bar, 4 street food kitchens and seating for 300+ people. A new lift is being installed from the ground floor mall direct to the roof.

Ben Rafferty added: “Some discussions are underway, but we are seeking operators for a number of different types of businesses including boutique gym, artisan bakery, beauty clinic, travel agency, jewellers, men’s grooming, ladies and men’s fashion store, music shop, tattooist, florists and wine merchants. If you have a viable business plan and can demonstrate strong commercial acumen or are already established, then get in touch, rents start from as little as £200 per week.”

The building as a whole was designed by architect John Douglas around 1864, but was substantially rebuilt around 1908. The Ground floor at the turn of the last century would have originally been the Co-Operative Society’s main department store – featuring grocers, draper, provision dealers, baker and cobblers. It was more recently trading as TJ Hughes.
All in all it is sure to become a mecca for hospitality, shopping and office space all under the same roof.
Planning to be open by late Summer/Autumn of 2022 more details are available via

Hive of activity for iconic department store building in multi-million pound redevelopment


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Experienced journalist for more than 40 years. Managing Director of magazine publishing group with three in-house titles and on-line daily newspaper for Warrington. Experienced writer, photographer, PR consultant and media expert having written for local, regional and national newspapers. Specialties: PR, media, social networking, photographer, networking, advertising, sales, media crisis management. Director Warrington Chamber of Commerce Patron Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace. Trustee Warrington Disability Partnership. Former Chairman of Warrington Town FC.

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