Introducing Wigan's new wine and coffee shop

Mark Norris outside the new Poets Corner in Swinley
Mark Norris outside the new Poets Corner in Swinley

Wiganers once again have somewhere to sample the finest wines after a new shop celebrating all things red, white and rose was launched.

Mark Norris, a familiar face on the region’s pub, restaurant and hospitality scene, has opened Poets Corner in Swinley in a location previously used as a wine store.

Mr Norris has had a long-standing ambition to create a licensed coffee shop with a retail element to it at the Mesnes Road site.

He and his wife Alison have now finally been able to start bringing their vision to life, with the stock of bottles beckoning customers in and plans to launch somewhere to eat and drink in the other part of the building next year.

Mr Norris said: “What we’re doing is a licensed coffee shop with retail wine sales, but because of planning for change of use we’ve got the wine shop open first.

“We feel this is something this road will take and it will do well. It was busy over the weekend and would have been even busier had we been selling coffee and cake, which is very encouraging.

“We looked at this when the previous wine shop went into liquidation but we had young children and felt it was too big a commitment. Now we can do what we wanted to do then and have taken the opportunity with both hands.”

Poets Corner, which takes its moniker from the nearby streets which are all named after famous writers of verse, is stocking around 70 wines from across the world as well as a large number of craft gins and bottled beers spanning lagers and independently-produced ales.

If his application is successful Mr Norris is then hoping to create a cafe serving hot drinks, sandwiches and sweet snacks along with light meals and tapas-style sharing platters.

Mr Norris, who has previously been in charge at the likes of Ashfield House in Standish, the Hind’s Head in Wrightington and Shaw Hill at Chorley, is very clear on what sort of place Poets Corner will be.

He said: “We are not and never will be a bar. We won’t be open late so there isn’t going to be late-night revelry.

“The idea is you come in for something to eat, have a glass of wine and can then take the bottle home. This is a very nice part of Wigan with lots of well-kept properties. It’s turning into a bit of a destination area with Forbes on the Lane opening at the Bel Air, Lily and Arthur’s and Sherrington’s.”

For more information about the business search for Poets Corner on Facebook.