New café bar Rivo Lounge, part of the Bristol chain Loungers opened in Chippenham today.
Over the past six weeks the two units on The Bridge next to the river, where Global Furniture was, have been transformed into a “retro home from home”, featuring the Loungers’ distinctive decor over two floors.
Second-hand vintage sofas and lighting are aimed at creating a sense of homeliness, while the walls are adorned with an eccentric mix of retro and black and white prints, oil paintings and Art Deco mirrors.
Loungers outlets serve tapas, pub food and all day breakfasts and offer gluten free, vegan, cocktail and children’s menus.
Loungers managing director Alex Reilley said they had invested £450,000 in fitting it out and were confident the venture would be a success.
He said: “We are excited and cautiously optimistic. I think it will do very well. Everyone gets distracted by Bath but we believe there is potential in Chippenham that we feel has been overlooked historically and we need to persuade them to stay.
“It’s a cracking spot, so prominent within the centre and very obvious on that corner.
“This is a substantial investment for us, we have spent £100,000 on the kitchen alone. It’s a nice roomy layout with 120 seats.
“It’s a very lived-in type feel with a lot of reclaimed decor. We want people to feel instantly at home.
“Downstairs has an industrial feel with pink highlights. Upstairs is a calm green Scandinavian retro space with burnt orange curtains and cedar-clad ceiling.”
He said they had recruited 25 people locally.
Children from New Road Nursery will join Loungers’ executive chef Theo Guy for a cookie decorating session this afternoon, in a competition to be judged by Chippenham Mayor Sylvia Gibson.
Rivo says its opening hours will be 8am to 11pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 11pm Saturday and Sunday.