'Cafe quarter' may soon have another place to eat

The empty unit on the corner of Walton Street and Little Clarendon Street

The empty unit on the corner of Walton Street and Little Clarendon Street

First published in News The Oxford Times: Photograph of the Author by , Council Reporter, also covering Oxford city centre. Call me on 01865 425429

A NEW shop that has been empty since it was created as part of a large redevelopment in Little Clarendon Street, could soon be turned into a restaurant or cafe.

The owners of the unit on the corner of Walton Street and Little Clarendon Street say they have been unable to find a tenant in the heart of the area’s cafe and bar quarter, after a year of searching.

Now Shirehall Properties is applying to Oxford City Council to change its use from retail to a restaurant or cafe. It is one of three empty units at the site.

Shirehall’s agent Huw Mellor said: “The proposal retains the individual shop unit appearance and its restaurant use would add vibrancy to the locality, particularly outside normal shop hours, with footfall encouraged into the area.

“Indeed it is very much hoped to attract a high profile restaurant user to the site that would come to act as a focus, an anchor tenant, that would draw people to the area and invigorate the locality.”

Three years ago Shirehall Properties wanted to demolish five Walton Street buildings, one of which is famous for its Lumley’s Tea advertisement on the front of the building, to create 41 student rooms and six shops.

Sausage restaurant The Big Bang, furniture shop Licious, restaurant Uddins Manzil and The Last Bookshop were given notice by the developer.

But after strong local objections to demolition of the building dating back to the 19th century, they were refurbished instead, with work completed last year and the student accommodation was sold to Lincoln College.

But while three of the new units have since been taken over by the Co-op, the other three remain unoccupied.

A marketing report prepared for Shirehall said: “Mainstream retailers have shown little interest due to the relatively limited floor space and hanging display space.

Related links

“Further caution was shown in relation to the location for traditional retailing with concerns over footfall and no tourist passing trade.”

The report says the estate agents Cluttons have seen interest in the site from a beautician, several coffee shops, a national coffee chain and a German fashion retailer.

But for various reasons none of these have worked out.

Jericho resident Simon Tavener said: “There are many, many food options in this part of the city and I cannot see another restaurant (unless it is extremely high profile) being a positive addition.

“There is already a serious issue with parking in the area – not even residents with permits can be certain of finding somewhere to park. The addition of another restaurant has the potential to place even further pressure on the area.”

Comments (6)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

10:49am Wed 12 Mar 14

thomashenry says...

Not sure how a restaurant in this unit would cause problems, given that these units previously housed two restaurants prior to redevelopment .. ?
Not sure how a restaurant in this unit would cause problems, given that these units previously housed two restaurants prior to redevelopment .. ? thomashenry
  • Score: 0

12:55pm Wed 12 Mar 14

oxfordsimon says...

There have been a number of new food outlets open in the area since the Big Bang and Uddins closed. Plus there has been considerable numbers of new dwellings added to the area. There is a serious parking problem in the Jericho/Walton Street areas - and no new development should be allowed until a solution to this has been found.

Oxford is over-burdened with restaurants - we do not need another one.
There have been a number of new food outlets open in the area since the Big Bang and Uddins closed. Plus there has been considerable numbers of new dwellings added to the area. There is a serious parking problem in the Jericho/Walton Street areas - and no new development should be allowed until a solution to this has been found. Oxford is over-burdened with restaurants - we do not need another one. oxfordsimon
  • Score: 4

1:54pm Wed 12 Mar 14

thomashenry says...

oxfordsimon wrote:
There have been a number of new food outlets open in the area since the Big Bang and Uddins closed. Plus there has been considerable numbers of new dwellings added to the area. There is a serious parking problem in the Jericho/Walton Street areas - and no new development should be allowed until a solution to this has been found.

Oxford is over-burdened with restaurants - we do not need another one.
What are the new eateries in the area that have opened since the redevelopment started?
[quote][p][bold]oxfordsimon[/bold] wrote: There have been a number of new food outlets open in the area since the Big Bang and Uddins closed. Plus there has been considerable numbers of new dwellings added to the area. There is a serious parking problem in the Jericho/Walton Street areas - and no new development should be allowed until a solution to this has been found. Oxford is over-burdened with restaurants - we do not need another one.[/p][/quote]What are the new eateries in the area that have opened since the redevelopment started? thomashenry
  • Score: -1

2:10pm Wed 12 Mar 14

oxfordsimon says...

There is Mumu's Ice Cream Parlour, the Sushi place, the Natural Bread Company, another cafe opposite the new development. That is at least 4 new places offering food.
There is Mumu's Ice Cream Parlour, the Sushi place, the Natural Bread Company, another cafe opposite the new development. That is at least 4 new places offering food. oxfordsimon
  • Score: 1

2:47pm Wed 12 Mar 14

King Joke says...

oxfordsimon wrote:
There have been a number of new food outlets open in the area since the Big Bang and Uddins closed. Plus there has been considerable numbers of new dwellings added to the area. There is a serious parking problem in the Jericho/Walton Street areas - and no new development should be allowed until a solution to this has been found.

Oxford is over-burdened with restaurants - we do not need another one.
Surely the fact that they stay in business means that people are happy to spend money there, which in turn means that they are needed?

If you think parking is a problem in the area don't drive there and it won't bother you.
[quote][p][bold]oxfordsimon[/bold] wrote: There have been a number of new food outlets open in the area since the Big Bang and Uddins closed. Plus there has been considerable numbers of new dwellings added to the area. There is a serious parking problem in the Jericho/Walton Street areas - and no new development should be allowed until a solution to this has been found. Oxford is over-burdened with restaurants - we do not need another one.[/p][/quote]Surely the fact that they stay in business means that people are happy to spend money there, which in turn means that they are needed? If you think parking is a problem in the area don't drive there and it won't bother you. King Joke
  • Score: 1

4:00pm Wed 12 Mar 14

icba1957 says...

Perhaps they should get a sausage restaurant to move in ...
Perhaps they should get a sausage restaurant to move in ... icba1957
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree