Hope over empty Bradford retail units

Hope over empty Bradford retail units

THE CLOSURE of Five Guys has left another empty unit on the Charles Street part of the city centre but business leaders are confident that overall the city’s offering is getting better.

Three units are now vacant at the Market Street end of Charles Street with Five Guys joining Patisserie Valerie and Papadoms.

Jonny Noble, of Bradford BID, said he was disappointed at the demise of Five Guys and Patisserie Valerie but said their closures were the result of national issues not specific to Bradford.

He said Five Guys was a well-known brand but the company had taken the decision not to continue.

He said: “National chains make tough calls.

“It is disappointing for the city centre but vacancy rates are improving slowly. There are great new businesses opening.”

He said he had heard the rumours that the leases of the three Charles Street units could be taken up but until the ink was dry he did not take anything for granted.

“When it gets down to the legals, it takes months and months,” he said. “Sometimes we can get impatient.”

He said if the offer is right and people enjoy their experience then businesses can succeed and highlighted the re-emergence of Ivegate as a good example of this.

Mr Noble added that there some big moves in the pipeline like the Bradford Odeon conversion and Bradford BID was lining up events for the summer that will drive footfall to complement city centre businesses.

And he said that many stakeholders had got together, like Sparkling Bradford, and had been successful in pushing to strengthen footfall.

“Bradford’s independence is a strength of the city but its passion sometimes boils over into frustration.”

Ian Ward, general manager at The Broadway, Bradford, highlighted one of the new business that should be opening shortly.

He said: “The arrival of Frankie’s Burger Restaurant, the first of its kind in Bradford, is very exciting for us. Offering a variety of dining experiences is something we’re hugely passionate about and I have no doubt Frankie’s will succeed.

“We feel it fits in perfectly with our existing offering and is a brilliant example of The Broadway’s position as a leading retail and leisure destination in the UK. We are looking forward to the opening and as soon as a date is confirmed, we’ll announce its debut.”

Workers were at Five Guys in the Xchange building yesterday to remove fixtures and fittings.

A spokesman for the company said: “We can confirm that the Five Guys store in Bradford closed permanently yesterday.

“The decision to close the restaurant was not taken lightly.

“All members of our Five Guys Crew have been offered opportunities in other stores where there is a vacancy.

“If a suitable position is not available their role will be made redundant on an enhanced redundancy package.

“We value the loyalty of our customers and know that some of them will be disappointed by the news.”

There were emotional scenes in the eatery on Thursday as 8pm approached, when it would shut for the last time.

There were hugs among the dozen staff behind the service counter.