Sunday, August 12, 2007

Closures, Closures, Closures....

I noticed a worrying trend in our cities’ food news the last couple of weeks – despite it being a very ‘Leeds is now’ time for the city, two long-standing establishments have had to close this month.
Firstly, a simple change of location cost Beano Wholefoods dearly. Beano had been around for nearly 30 years – which makes it all the more shocking when you consider the power the whole ‘Organic’ ethos has these days. However, Beano did not fit in the council’s plans for the fast-developing Briggate and moved it down the road. And that’s it – a move of only 300 yards results in such a drop in trade that Beano simply no longer exists. As you would imagine, a void is now present for those wanting vegan or more ehtically-produced foodstuffs. it would seem people are happy to buy 'Fairtrade' - as long as they can get it from a supermarket.

Also, Dino’s – the Italian under the Railway Station on Bishopsgate, have thrown in the towel after another long 15 years in the Leeds food scene. The manager is blaming the explosion in restaurants in Leeds in the last few years as being so detrimental to the trade that he can no longer go on. Telling ,perhaps, but one has to wonder what other long-standing restaurants in the area such as Bibi’s, Da Marios and Salvo’s are doing in order to survive. I’m of the belief that Leeds is big enough for all these places, but the closure of Beano’s is a real shame.


Anonymous said...

When you write that the council moved Beano down the road, what do you mean? I'm sure the council has the ability to terminate leases, but I wonder if they can really stipulate the new location for a business. Anyone could see that moving outside the city centre would be a terminal move. It was a bad mistake, and I wonder if the council is entirely to blame for that decision.

Leigh said...

Hi Andrew - thanks for dropping by. It would seem i have not been too clear about the reasons I read for the move. According to the Yorkshire Evening Post - and I quote - "A move to a different venue, forced on it by Leeds City Council, turned it from a highly profitable venture into a loss-maker in less than two years.

It had traded for many years on Upper Briggate, close to the Grand Theatre, but the council, their landlords, wanted the shop premises for redevelopment and bought out their lease.

They found the alternative site on North Street 300 yards away – but it was an unfortunate change of location."

So the implication is there that due to the redevelopment of the area, Beano moved when being asked to by thier landlords - so yes, i can see your point about it not being entirely the council's decision. I'm not sure where the alternative location came from, but like you say, the decision sounded the death knell for the cooperative. which makes it all the more of a shame - trading peacefully and successfully for years, and then it drops off in a very short space of time.