Are we witnessing the real impact of Boozepark on the rest of Croydon’s night time economy, with the announcement of the closure of another bar within a mile of the council-subsidised food and drink venue?
Bar Txt, on South End, is to close at the end of this month.
This follows the closure of The Glamorgan, the gastropub on Cherry Orchard Road, a short walk from Boxpark, and the windows being boarded up on The View, on Selsdon Road, as reported this week by Inside Croydon.
None of the landlords or owners of those pubs, or other food and drink businesses around central Croydon. have yet directly attributed their closures to the opening of the vast Boxpark complex next to East Croydon Station last November.
But against a faltering economy and rising business rates, having a giant rival operation plonked down in your neighbourhood, sucking in the trade, cannot have helped. Boxpark has been encouraged to open in Croydon with a £3million loan from Croydon Council, arranged by council chief exec Jo Negrini, and with the additional boost of £160,000-worth of grant money to stage a promotional opening festival.
In statements on their Instagram account this week, Bar Txt owners said: “So, unfortunately we have some bad news. Bar Txt is closing down and we will be shutting the doors at the end of the month.
“We have enjoyed being involved in so many of your awesome nights and in being a part of the South Croydon community, so we’re very sad to be leaving. It’s been a crazy, wonderful few years and we’ll miss you all, from you guys, our DJ’s [sic], bartenders and security, to other local businesses and everyone involved in the Croydon Food Festival, of which we are (and always will be) incredibly proud of helping get off the ground.”
Linda Arthur, one of Bar Txt’s directors, also ran the South Croydon Business Association. The South Croydon Food Festival received some financial backing from the council over the past four years, though it was modest by Boozepark standards, and the event also had the burden of having PR agency Grey Label trying to source its commercial sponsorships.
Today, one of the South Croydon Business members questioned Bar Txt’s business model. “People only go to an expensive bar for a few years of their lives.
“Bar Txt has not built relationships up with the wider community, it is not family friendly. Compare to the bars elsewhere. It does not open every day, so even its regulars have to go elsewhere a few days every week. No business can survive without the dull, steady regulars.
“Across the road from Bar Txt is Bagatti’s – one of the most successful local restaurants: it is friendly, engaged in the local community; it builds long-term relationships; and welcomes three generations and people go there for years. It may be pitched at ‘fine dining’, but it is still affordable and generally always busy – a good balance between the need to survive and make profit, and the needs of the customer.
“The businesses that do well have a wide appeal and are affordable.”
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