Two noticeable elements missing from the ongoing gentrification plans for the Fruit Market area of Hull are 1) a cashpoint (seriously, you have to walk into town to get money out) and 2) enough watering holes.
On a sunny day or balmy evening, you can face a long wait to get a drink because – restaurants and a very expensive gallery aside – the Minerva is the only remaining pub.
To help combat this, the owners of the Minerva have taken a shop unit and created the Humber Street Gin Distillery Co. It isn’t yet an actual distillery (unless they’re secretly brewing the stuff up out back without a licence) but more of a prohibition era-style Chicago speakeasy. The walls are bare brick and wood-clad, there is waitress service and the barmen are all braces dressed and buttoned-up smart.
There are a bewildering array of gins and I defy anyone not to have a great time tasting even one or two of the 20-odd botanicals most claim to include. Fortunately, the bar staff are knowledgable and can talk you through each selection, so you don’t feel bad if all you can taste is gin.
There is no food available but plans are apparently afoot to offer meat and cheese sharing boards in the near future and there is a tasting room that can be booked for groups to sample gins in private. The Humber Street Gin Distillery may not solve the Fruit Market’s dearth of drinking dens but it at least alleviates the gin lust of the newly-emboldened gentry of Hull.
Humber Street Gin Distillery Co, Humber Street, Hull HU1 1TG. hsdc.co.uk
Drinks selection 4/5