A NEW champagne bar is to hit Colchester High Street this weekend, with only people over the age of 21 to be allowed in.

Dreams Cocktail and Champagne Lounge, which is to occupy the retail unit on the High Street previously used by Taste of Cyprus, hosted a private friends and family launch night last Saturday, and is now ready to open to members of the public this weekend.

Steve Ellis, who owns Colchester Eats, came up with the idea alongside Paul Kounnis, who had previously run Taste of Cyprus before it closed in May.

Mr Ellis, who will become the manager at Dreams Cocktail Lounge, explained that with the increasing cost of food, coupled with the departure of Taste of Cyprus’s head chef, a restaurant in Colchester High Street became unviable.


He said: “I suggested to Paul he turn it into a cocktail bar or a sports bar, because he runs a few sports bars.”

But with their being a gap in Colchester’s market for a higher end hostelry, Mr Ellis explained a cocktail bar would be an attractive option for people enjoying Colchester’s nightlife.

“From past experience, I was going out with my wife and didn’t feel there was anywhere to go if you wanted a couple of drinks after a meal – Yates and Attic seemed to be better for [a younger clientele].”

Dreams Cocktail Lounge, he explained, will offer freshly made cocktails and remain open until the early hours of the morning.

“The cocktails won’t be pre-bought, we’ll use premium brands, and we’ll be open until 4am” he said.


“We’ll have dry cocktails, bubble cocktails, smoked cocktails, which other places don’t have.

“Obviously, there are a lot of establishments in Colchester which have been here for a long, long time – people need to know we’re here.”

The premises is expected to have a capacity of 45 people when it opens on Friday evening, with final preparations going on between now and the end of the week.

“We are just adapting things to make it run better,” he said.

“Everything is in place so it’s just a case of bringing the place to life.”