Things are looking up a bit in Durham, I’ve been a bit concerned of a number of empty shop units around but all of a sudden its taken a turn for the better. Several new shops and cafes have opened up in the last month or so and will hopefully keep the city going in the current climate.
There are new shops like Storm and Superdry that have turned up in the last week which will give much needed choice in the Durham clothing sector – as we’re all currently walking around in the same Next and BHS T-shirts.
The “Wilkos Effect”, as I’m calling it, has had a significant impact on the Gates shopping centre. The unit it occupies in the dead end of the “T” shape has always been a bit of a cursed location as there’s no real through traffic. However, people love Wilkos so the shop units that lead to it are now pretty much all open.
A cafe has opened up in the old Rumbletums too that I’ve not checked out yet.
Hopefully Lumiere will also have a longer term effect on tourism and the local economy.
Not all good news though as the Castle pub on Claypath seems to have closed as has one of the fish nibble foot spas (to be honest I wasn’t sure Durham could accommodate one of them let alone two).
Update 15/1/2012: Have checked out the new cafe in the old Rumbletums just down the steps to Fowler’s yard on Silver st – it’s called Cottons and it does a nice coffee, looks like they do a good range in hearty food too. There’s a good atmosphere as it’s a kind of cross between an old fashioned tea room and modern coffee house.
Unfortunatetly I spoke too soon though, as both Hawkin’s Bazaar and Past Times have closed leaving more empty units on Silver St. Hope they get filled asap.
Update 15/4/2012: OK things are looking up again, there’s an Apple retailer (Stormfront) opening next week opposite the Orange shop. Great idea with all the students around. Also The Castle pub on Claypath has been replaced with a new one called The John Duck Alehouse which will be selling Durham Brewery beer by the looks of it (http://www.durhambrewery.co.uk/cask/john-duck.aspx) will have to check it out! Also Woksupp noodle bar has opened at the bottom of Claypath which looks like an excellent alternative to the ever growing row of pizza/kebab houses there.