The millennium restaurant, on the corner of Fairview Road and Portland Street, opened on September 1st1998. The £1.5 million two-storey restaurant and café bar could cater for 180 diners. The building, built by Robert Deacon Builders Ltd, was of a futuristic design of glass and steel. An astronaut from the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida was perched on the roof.
The advertisement feature in the Gloucestershire Echo stated: “When you sit at your individually illuminated table, you will be able to see the solar system all around you. This impression of sitting in outer space is further strengthened by the presence of various aliens, astronauts and floating shuttles. And let’s not forget the 3,000-fibre optic starlit ceiling and the space shuttle lift, which will take you up to the first floor. If you have been hunting in vain for a futuristic drink, look no further than Millennium Ale, a new draught ale which is exclusive to the restaurant. It’s out of this world.”
Despite all the hi-tech gadgetry the venture seemed jinxed from the start. A week before it opened a small fire broke out and then, after just four days of trading, the air conditioning plant broke down which meant that meals could not be served.
Then, in June 1999, an application to change the use of the restaurant into a pub/ nightclub was rejected by the borough council’s planning committee. The ‘Echo’ supported the decision in their editorial comment. It closed soon afterwards with the loss of 15 jobs. The property was put on the market for £900,000. Robert Deacon, in the meantime, had won his appeal to turn the restaurant millennium into a nightclub but the decision had come too late. Although the planning permission was now in place to keep the option of a nightclub various applications were received to convert the premises into a bingo centre, a large family home and a health club. These proposals came to nothing.
In September 2003 developer Trinity Gate bought the millennium restaurant and it was demolished in January 2005. Trinity Gate then sold the derelict site claiming that they were too busy with other projects to build on the land themselves. Ledbury based developer Ten has now built a five-storey block of 24 flats on the site