Food outlets are “falling like dead flies” says one business woman after a long-standing city sandwich shop shut down.
CJ’S Baguette Bar, in St Margaret’s Street, abruptly closed last week.
The closure came just days before Deeson’s restaurant in Sun Street also shut down (see facing page) amid mounting concerns over the cost of rents for independent traders in the prime city spots.
CJ’S will be replaced by themed tearoom Alice and the Hatter, which already has an outlet in Herne Bay.
Its owner, Kate Rivers, said: “We’re going to completely redecorate the place. We’re hoping to be open in four weeks.”
But Monica Valentino, coowner of the neighbouring Sandwich Bar, believes the closure of CJ’S is a sign of independ- ents being squeezed out by the arrival of a growing number of chain restaurants and food outlets.
She told the Gazette: “There are so many eateries coming to Canterbury.
“This is a small place and you see them falling like dead flies after a year.
“More will definitely be shutting down.”
She also identified growing inflation, rising rents, business rates and inflation as other factors affecting business in the city.
Mrs Valentino said: “The previous owners of the Happy Samurai in the Marlowe Arcade couldn’t cope with the cost of having a place.
“And with inflation at the moment, we all have to put our prices up.”
We were unable to contact the previous owners of CJ’S for comment.
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CJ’S in Canterbury will be replaced by Alice and the Hatter
The application for a premises licence