Shh! Bar set for £350,000 move

Shh!, the Blackburn bar known for its 1920s speakeasy style, is set to expand into larger premises with a £350,000 investment.

The bar will move across the road to 35 Northgate, the 19th Century building which was formerly the Ribblesdale Hotel, Gladstone’s and then Baroque.

The larger premises offer the opportunity to expand the established bar offer to include bar snacks on the ground floor and more formal dining on the first floor.

Michael Mohan, who owns Shh! alongside Martin Booth-Morton, said: "We are excited and terrified in equal measures! This is one of the most iconic and beautiful buildings in Blackburn and we can’t wait to get in.

“We’ve been absolutely overwhelmed with all of the support we’ve received – including from the council’s Growth and Development Team and fellow bar owners in the town. The completion of the restoration to this building and the work to Blakey Moor Terrace is creating something really special in this area."

The building, opposite King George's Hall, is part of the Townscape Heritage Project in the Blakey Moor area, a new cultural quarter for the town.

Blackburn with Darwen Council bought the premises in 2014 to help secure its future but its poor condition prevented its immediate reuse. Funding has now been secured through the National Lottery Heritage Fund for the external works with the council contributing towards that and the internal works along with the new bar owners.

Coun Phil Riley, new Leader of Blackburn with Darwen Council, added: “Shh! Bar has brought something really different and successful to Blackburn and this is a fantastic move for them and the town.

"We’re working hard to create a really strong cultural offer in that area of Blackburn with work also underway to restore neighbouring Blakey Moor Terrace. Growing the town’s nightlife and offering a good selection of places to eat all in close proximity to King George’s Hall and the new Reel Cinema is key to the success of that and this is an exciting development."