Costa Coffee to take over former Polly Tea Rooms in Devizes
The former Polly Tea Rooms cafe in Devizes is set to become a Costa Coffee shop in addition to the chain's existing shop in The Brittox.
Costa Coffee was unable to comment officially this week as a contract on the empty shop at the corner of the Market Place and Snuff Street had not yet been signed, but Costa Coffee posters are in the window saying it will be opening.
Customers using the Costa Coffee shop in The Brittox have been told they are opening there and that the shop in The Brittox will remain.
The Market Place unit is considerably bigger than Costa’s shop in The Brittox, which has about 32 seats. Costa opened in The Brittox in December 2006 after buying the shop from blueOnion which opened as a coffee shop four years earlier.
Despite its prominent position near the bus island in the Market Place the unit has had a troubled existence.
It is on the former One Stop shop site and Devizes building contractors Gaiger Brothers redeveloped it and built other retail units in Snuff Street with apartments above.
Polly Tea Rooms was the first cafe to open in the unit but was unable to build on its success in Marlborough and Salisbury and it closed after 18 months in December 2010.
The Right Time Cafe, a community interest company with its origins in Erlestoke Prison, lasted only a few months while the last tenant, Scrummylicious closed in November 2012 after seven months.
Gaiger Brothers applied for planning permission to extend the opening hours of the unit to 11pm but amended it to 7pm which was granted by Wiltshire Council planning officers last week.
Rebecca Wood, owner of Mayenne Bistro Cafe in Snuff Street, believed Costa opening a coffee shop in the unit was positive.
She said: “We are glad that the unit has been taken, it has been empty for a long time.
"We think it will smarten up this end of town and hopefully encourage more independent retailers to open up shops at this end of the Market Place.
"Costa’s main business is coffee and ours is home-cooked food so we don’t see a clash of interests.”
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