Farewell to Chris’s Café: The Ashton Review of Shops Extra

Chris and Costa leave Ashton-under-Lyne after nearly 40 years

After 39 years of trading, Chris’s Café closed its door on the 04 August 2018. Situated on Bow Street, Ashton-under-Lyne, the café was a popular haunt with many shoppers. Its position opposite the open market was good for passing trade.

Since opening in 1979, Chris’s Café offered traditional, unpretentious main meals and light bites at pocket-friendly prices. Its central position next to Iceland (and Tesco before then) was popular with regular and casual customers. Especially its breakfasts which gave many rivals a run for its money on price.

In its prime it saw off Silvios, The Koffee Pot’s two branches, and Burger King. It has co-existed with McDonalds and, before Bow Street’s pedestrianisation, it was one of many lunchtime options for black cab drivers.

With the dawn of Sunday trading in 1994, Chris’s Café came late to the party. In the last five years, Sunday trading begun with Chris’s Café opening on Farmers’ Market days. Discounts were offered for students of the recently relocated Clarendon College.

Nearly 40 years on, the competition between Chris’ Café had heightened. Within 10 minutes walk of Ashton Market you can have Indian or Chinese food, fried chicken, all day breakfasts, pasta and paninis. As well as traditional English food and fancy cakes, and McDonalds. Ultimately, recent changes to Ashton Market, its public realm, and the rise of internet shopping have proved to be a more formidable force.

We wish Chris and Costa the very best in the future and thank them for making Chris’s Café a must-visit eatery. For many shoppers, a meeting place as well as an eating place.

Retail and Leisure Movements

Here’s a few retail and leisure movements which have just missed the cut in our latest Ashton Review of Shops.

  • Timpson’s key cutting shop on Mercian Way, Ashton-under-Lyne, will be leaving their unit in The Ladysmith Centre. The sole survivor of Timpson’s presence in Ashton will be moving to a concession in ASDA on Cavendish Street.
  • Magpie’s Nest in the Arcades Shopping Centre has moved into the unit last occupied by The Body Shop.
  • Whilst in the same shopping precinct, Eurocharge will be moving into part of the former Claire’s Accessories unit, next door to The Fragrance Shop (who will be occupying the other part).
  • On Concord Way, Dukinfield, Housing21’s unit has been sold at auction by Edward Mellor. Till the early noughties it had previously been Ken Sorby’s mini market.
  • Did you know that Dukinfield has a purveyor of scented candles and bath bombs? Aroma Belle on 9 Concord Way could solve a few birthday present problems out for you. If you cannot make it to their shop they also have an e-commerce site. It is just off Foundry Street and, if you’re making a lunch time visit, call into L’s Kitchen for a butty.

S.V., 09 August 2018.

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