Bar Street back from the brink

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A Scarborough street is bucking the recession blues to herald a retail renaissance.

Bar Street – once called Scarborough’s answer to York’s Shambles – has battled against shop closures and falling sales to regain its status as a thriving thoroughfare.

The street recently welcomed new outlets including Guitar Galleries and the Little Fruit Shop to bolster trade alongside more established businesses such as Boddy’s Cafe and Via Herba.

During the height of the credit crunch, the street – home to several privately owned businesses – saw traders move on as profits declined.

However, the area is now beginning to shows signs of financial fruition, a fact testified by Tracy Harrison of the The Little Fruit Shop who said business had been brisk since moving from their long-familiar stall in Westborough in October last year.

She said: “We are doing alright and have been ticking over nicely in what can be a bit of quiet period.

“The good thing about the street is that we will get a lot of people coming through, especially in the summer, from the hotels and buses in Falconers Road.

“A lot of people have already commented how nice it is to have an old-fashioned style fruit and veg shop where they can come in and have a bit of a chat with people too.

“We have also got a good spot across from the cafe where shoppers can look out and see what we have on offer which seems to be working well.”

Phil Booth, manager of Guitar Galleries, took on the business in July last year, and said the signs were promising.

He said: “We get a lot of bands coming in and are starting to get to know a lot of people now which is good.

“Scarborough has a great atmosphere of the traditional holiday town but is also a hotbed for music.”

John Elliott is now an established face in Bar Street after running The Pantry sandwich shop at the Falconers Road end of the street for more than six years.

He said he was buoyed by the recent influx of businesses, which he hoped would herald a boost in further sales.

He said: “Things are not too bad at the moment and the street is doing quite well considering we are in a recession.

“It is a proper street and nothing ever seems to stay empty for too long which is beneficial for everyone because no business likes to be next to an empty shopt.”

Bar Street takes its name from its position close to the former Newborough Bar.