A PICKERING art gallery has reopened with a licence to sell alcohol.

The newly-christened Wonky Pitcher Cellar in Market Place, formerly the Pickering Gallery, was officially re-opened by Cllr Helene Haythorne, mayor of Pickering.

Alongside the art, including images by local photographers, original artworks and prints, the gallery will now also sell a range of bottled gins, ales, wines and ciders.

Chris Jones, who runs the establishment with his wife Sarah, said: “We spent a lot of time looking around and thinking about what the town doesn’t have. We spotted an opportunity - and we also picked up on the gin craze.”

The UK gin trade is booming. Recent figures indicate that British drinkers bought 40 million bottles of gin in 2016, prompting a large surge in small-batch producers such as the new Rare Bird distillery in Malton.

The Wonky Pitcher Cellar stocks 37 different gins, some local, a couple from Europe. It will also wine made locally in Westow.

Chris said: “We looked at the wine market and it’s such a massive thing. So we stuck with Yorkshire wines.

“What we’ve tried to do is stock the shop with stuff you can’t get in the supermarkets.”

The shop has been an art shop for about 20 years.

Chris said: “When we took it over we changed a lot of things.” But he added that the latest move into art and alcohol has been “brilliant”.

“Now we’ve got a constant stream of local people coming in and we’re starting to build up for Christmas,” he said.

He added they will continue to run their framing business and to support local artists, as well as stocking sculptures, ceramics, gifts and greeting cards.