HYNDBURN entrepreneur Kevin Horkin is raising his glass to his latest venture – after he won permission to open a wine bar in Accrington town centre.
Mr Horkin, owner of the Spex opticians’ chain, is all set to convert the site of the former Spex shop on Church Street, Accrington, into a wine bar which it is hoped will be open by the summer.
The premises became vacant earlier this year after Mr Horkin moved the store to its current site on Union Street.
He said: "I have wanted to do something in licensing for some time and I think the time is right as the market is wide open in Accrington.
"The problem is that everyone always says they want to open this and that in the town, but it rarely materialises. But with this, I just thought I would have a go.
"I have had quite a few units in Accrington over the past 25 years. I had tried putting the old store up to let but I didn’t have a lot of interest which is why I decided to try this instead."
Mr Horkin said he had thought of a name for the business and added that it would be a wine bar "with a twist" but remained tight-lipped about what this would be.
He said: "I think people will be very pleased with the end result. I always think there is nothing worse than trying to attract all age groups so this would ideally appeal to people aged, say, 21 and above.
"I have always had varied business interests since, as well as Spex, I am also involved in other areas such as the publishing business. I have never just stuck to one area and this is something I want to try."
Mr Horkin said he was not sure how much the refurbishment work would cost but it is hoped it will start within the next few months and that a launch will be held next year.
* Mr Horkin recently appeared in the ITV drama show Catwalk Dogs, written by Men Behaving Badly creator Simon Nye, in which he played himself as a pet expert.