Image: Hat trick! Three new food and drink businesses say ‘bon appetit’ to Rochdale

Hat trick! Three new food and drink businesses say ‘bon appetit’ to Rochdale

Posted by Aahmed on 22 Aug 2017 at 16:45

Businesses’ growing appetite for investing in Rochdale has been cemented with the opening of two new cafes and a bar in recent weeks.

Bar Cuba brings a Latin flavour to the banks of the River Roch, with manager Shaun Murray recently transforming the old Bar 5 unit on South Parade.

The grade II listed building, which overlooks the recently re-uncovered River Roch, has been largely unoccupied since Bar 5 closed around five years ago.

But Shaun, who has almost 20 years’ experience of working as a barman in the borough, is looking to bring back the café culture to this historic part of town.

He said: “At the moment, we’re only open at weekends, but by mid-September our kitchen will be open, so people can drop in for coffee, breakfast, lunch and dinner, seven days a week. We really want to get back to what Bar 5 was; a daytime as well as evening venue, but with a Latin feel. We’re going to have an outdoor seating area and serve Cuban sandwiches and sides, as well as playing Latin-style music.

“This building is very central and has loads of character, so I was really drawn to it. The fact that the new market will be right across the road and we’re overlooking the river swayed us too. The regeneration and lively events calendar have made a big difference. We were lucky enough to be open when the Feel Good festival took place and we were absolutely packed out. That’s a fantastic start for a business like us.”

Up in Union Street, just off Yorkshire Street, Cafe Plume owners Zakir and Mohammed Shafiq also reckon Rochdale is just their cup of tea.

Their cafe serves hot drinks, cakes and sandwiches from 8am to 5pm, Monday to Friday and from 10am to 5pm on Saturdays.

Zakir said: “There’s lot of new development going on in Rochdale at the minute, so it’s a great time to set up a new business there. The town centre is changing really fast and I think it’s only going to get better.”

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Mohammed added: “Everything in the cafe is upcycled and re-fashioned, so it’s a unique venue. We’ve also got old records hanging on the wall, so it’s got a real retro feel. It’s great to be adding something new to the town centre, which is getting better all the time.”

Rochdale Shawarma in Yorkshire Street has also joined the growing number of eateries, serving Middle Eastern and Italian food.

Councillor Richard Farnell, leader of Rochdale Borough Council, said: “I’ve had the pleasure of visiting a number of new businesses in recent weeks and I’m really proud that these innovative business people with fantastic ideas have chosen to come and set up here in Rochdale. It’s clear that word is getting out about the transformation which is taking place here and people want to be involved.”

The council has a number of incentives on offer to help new businesses, which meet selected criteria, open in vacant units in Rochdale, Heywood and Middleton town centres, including business rates discounts. Businesses looking to open in Rochdale town centre can also apply for a grant to help renovate their unit.

Anyone who would like to find out more, can visit: rochdale.gov.uk/smallbizhelp

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