A local hotel and restaurant owner is “bucking the trend of businesses closing” by opening a new bar serving tapas and pizza.

The Tap at The Peppermill opened for the first time in The Peppermill Hotel and Restaurant, on St John’s Street in Devizes, on Thursday, February 1.

The latest addition to The Peppermill has opened in a newly refurbished bar and seating area and will serve a selection of craft ales alongside tapas and pizza.

Philip O’Shea, who has owned the town centre venue for 13 years, told this paper that the growth of his business will fill a gap in the market following several recent closures in the area.

He said: “Vaults was a craft beer place that never reopened, The Snuff Box shut on Christmas Day and the tapas restaurant in the Market Place closed as well.

“That’s left quite a big hole in Devizes so I’m opening a tap room and tapas restaurant… people kept coming in saying that there was nowhere for them to drink.

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: The Tap at The PeppermillThe Tap at The Peppermill (Image: Newsquest)

“We’re bucking the trend really because while everywhere else is shutting we’re actually expanding, so I think it’s some positivity amidst the negativity because we’ll be providing a service to local people.”

The Tap can accommodate around 60 guests and will serve tapas style food items ranging from £4 to £7 and pizzas priced between £10 and £13.

This latest extension of The Peppermill comes after the hotel grew from seven rooms to 16 by purchasing the old Crown Centre following the pandemic.

Around £500,000 was spent refurbishing the former social centre and a new use has now been found for some of the extra rooms acquired in the deal.

Mr O’Shea added: “We’ve never really known what to do with it, I’ve always wanted to do pizza and because these other places shut, I thought we’d have a go and see what happens.

“I’m very excited because I’ve wanted to do it for years, it will offer nibbles, not a massive plate of food.

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: The Tap at The PeppermillThe Tap at The Peppermill (Image: Newsquest)

“We have that next door but sometimes when you go out to eat you just want a small pizza and some bits and pieces.”

Many of the beers on draught are sourced from south west towns and cities like Bristol and Salisbury.

Initially the bar will open on Thursdays and Fridays from 4pm to 11pm, and Saturdays and Sundays from noon until 11pm.