Coventry cafe gets new home at former Drapers Bar

The Rising Café is set to temporarily relocate next month to enable works to take place at Coventry Cathedral.

The Alan Edward Higgs Charity has stepped in to offer a temporary home for the Rising Café during construction work at Coventry Cathedral in preparation for 2021

The popular café is set to close at the end of February for the remainder of the year to enable the works to take place and will temporarily relocate to the iconic building formerly occupied by Drapers Bar on Earl Street.

The café is run by Betel, an independent charity for people affected by the hardships that lead to social exclusion, especially homelessness, drug and alcohol abuse and long-term unemployment.

In December 2013, The Higgs Charity bought Drapers Bar as part of the restoration project at The Drapers’ Hall. The intention was to create a multi-use centre based on music. The Charity has since worked to keep the building open whilst the project developed.

Historic Coventry Trust has now taken ownership of Drapers’ Hall from Coventry City Council and started work on a £4m restoration project to create a centre for music education and performance. The Trust is also working up proposals for the larger project and is in a position to incorporate the Drapers Bar building as the Charity always intended. 

This will see the building re-purposed to take an important role in the City of Culture in 2021 and then become part of a wider project with a museum and educational focus. 

Ian Harrabin MBE, chairman of the Historic Coventry Trust, said: “The Higgs Charity has been extremely generous in its support of The Drapers’ Hall project and making this building available is key to the future success of the whole project.”

Marilyn Knatchbull-Hugessen, chair of the Higgs Charity, said: “The Charity works to benefit the people of Coventry. The Drapers’ Hall and Bayley Lane project will re-energise this part of the City Centre, providing great facilities for the local community and enhancing Coventry’s status as a major visitor destination.”

Further information on the timeline for the café’s re-opening is expected in the coming weeks.