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From cocktails to café culture – SP Bar branches out with new riverside venture  

The owners of Andover’s favourite cocktail hotspot, the SP Bar, are set to branch out and transform unit 20B in Bridge Street into a vibrant new café.

Overlooking the picturesque River Anton in the bustling Town Mills riverside park, the former Just Kutz unit will soon be home to the new Riverside Café run by Stephanie and Ricky Pledge.

They will sell a range of sumptuous snacks, from delicious wraps and panini, to artisan coffees and lip-smacking smoothies. And there will be Mr Whippy ice cream swirled with tantalising toppings on offer for those looking for a sweet treat in the summer months.

Test Valley Borough Council, which owns the unit, put a call out to businesses last year to apply for the lease for the vacant premises. Various bidders put forward their proposals, and following a rigorous assessment process the SP Bar came out on top.

They aim to open in the spring once renovation work is complete.

Stephanie said: “We are delighted to have been offered 20b Bridge Street. We hope to open for you all soon and are looking forward to creating this new addition to the riverside park.”

Leader of Test Valley Borough Council, councillor Phil North, said: “When we opened the new Riverside Park last year, it struck me that the former Just Kutz unit would make a perfect location for a high-quality café. It’s been great to see so many people spending time in the park and I wanted to make sure that we got someone really great to make this most of this fantastic location. Stephanie and Ricky are really passionate about the town and I’m looking forward to them opening.

“It is businesses like this that will help us on our journey to transform Andover as we continue to drive forward with our plans to completely redevelop the town centre. I understand we had some really fantastic applicants, which just goes to show the quality of our local businesses. The riverside park gives just a small flavour of what is to come as we take on this once in a generation opportunity to put Andover on the map.”

The new café will open seven days a week, with extended opening hours to coincide with town centre events throughout the year.