L’Atelier du Vin, the upscale wine and cocktail bar concept, is planning to roll out to a number of sites across the South East, MCA has learnt.

Led by former Steve Pineau, a former general manager of Hotel du Vin, the business is close to securing a second site, on the former Coggings & Co restaurant in Brighton’s Seven Dials.

The site has a raised ground floor with seating for around 50 covers with patio space for a further 40.

Pineau, whose partner is fellow Hotel du Vin alumni Dimitri Mesnard, also hopes to open in the city’s Kemp Town and Hove areas, before moving to Tunbridge Wells and Cambridge.

The prohibition-themed concept, which stocks 700 wines, including 250 champagnes, and 300 spirit varieties, was conceived with Master of Wine Gerard Basset OBE, who died earlier this year.

He recently vacated his previous site, in Brighton’s Kensington Gardens, where he piloted L’Atelier du Vin upstairs from his restaurant Grow 40, following an offer from Trading Post Coffee Roasters, and has moved his flagship bar to York Place into a former opticians.

Pineau told MCA the premium offering and higher price point meant the business was more about big ticket purchases, rather than volume, with staff trained to a high level, and sommeliers sent on work experience to Michelin starred restaurants such as La Gavroche.

He said so far Brighton consumers, many of whom work in London, had shown they have the spending power for bigger ticket bottles.

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