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New tenant eyes up former Polly Tea Rooms in Devizes
The former Polly Tea Rooms cafe in Devizes Market Place could re-open but with the intention to operate into the evening and sell alcohol.
New tenants have been lined up but to make it pay they want to lengthen the building’s opening hours and offer alcohol.
Devizes building contractor Gaiger Brothers owns the building which was a redevelopment of the former One Stop Shop site with retail space in Snuff Street and apartments above.
Gaigers refused to say who the prospective tenant was but in a planning application submitted to Wiltshire Council last week director Michael Gaiger said: “The proposed tenant intends to run a family orientated restaurant. The tenant will apply for alcohol and music licences.”
The application by Gaigers seeks opening hours of 6.30am to 11.30pm Monday to Saturday and 8.30am to 5.30pm on Sundays and bank holidays.
Director James Gaiger told the Gazette that evening opening was being applied for to offer flexibility for the prospective tenant.
The cafe last traded as Scrummylicious but it closed last November after seven months.
It was the third catering establishment to open there. Polly Tea Rooms was the first cafe to open but was unable to build on its success in Marlborough and Salisbury and it closed in December 2010, 18 months after it opened.
The next occupants, The Right Time Cafe, a community interest company with its origins in Erlestoke Prison, lasted only a few months.
Peter Vaughan, owner of The Bistro in Little Brittox, thought operating in the evening at the cafe could be successful.
He said: “The building is big for a cafe and Devizes does not have the volume of people to fill such a big venue in the day time. When we opened The Bistro in 2003 I had the mickey taken out of me by chef colleagues for opening in the evening.
“Now there are others open in the evening and it’s wonderful to see Devizes is a magnet for small businesses. I love competition and would welcome another restaurant in Devizes.”
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