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Old January 12th, 2018, 04:37 PM   #1001
dronkula
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Ah...I was wondering if the Guildhall was about to have it's first 'failure' after hearing that the Bristol Polpo had closed suddenly over New Year...

Quote:
Exeter chain restaurant Polpo will shut after being open less than a year
http://www.devonlive.com/whats-on/fo...london-1049710

An Exeter restaurant, open for less than a year, can be added to the list of a string of high-profile city centre closures.

Venetian restaurant Polpo, which has only been trading in Guildhall Dining Quarter from April 2017, has announced plans to shut and sell its unit.

It is the third Polpo bācaro to announce its closure in the UK, joining sites in Bristol and Central London.

The news comes despite Managing Director Scott Macdonald reporting a record-breaking final quarter of 2017.

The news, in reaction to the has been announced in restaurant trade magazines.

Mr Macdonald said: "It is never much fun closing a restaurant. It’s much more fun opening them.

"We have closed two in the last week after months of negotiations. Neither decision has been sudden, nor have they been easy, but they were both positive in their own ways."

Polpo was the final restaurant to join the dining quarter off Queen Street after barbecue restaurant Grillstock pulled out.

At the time of its openiong, co-owner Russell Norman said: "Exeter is a wonderful city full of beauty, culture and charm, and we are extremely lucky to have found a site for Polpo.

"Being protected from the roads and the sight of cars, combined with our large outdoor terrace, it reminds me very much of the small squares found in Venice.

"We can't wait to open our doors this spring and welcome fans of good food, good wine, Venetian Spritz and old-school hospitality."

It's further bad news for Exeter's dining scene, which has expanded rapidly in the last two years.

The string of closures began with Jamie's Italian in Princesshay Shopping Centre which, near a year later, remains unoccupied.

January has also seen popular indie restaurant Urban Burger permanently close its doors.

Meanwhile, the future of Princesshay restaurant Byron Burger remains uncertain following a string of 20 closures across the country to cut costs.
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Old January 13th, 2018, 12:11 PM   #1002
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It's going to be a case of survival of the fittest. The city centre is saturated with restaurants. To survive restaurants will need to ensure good service, provide evolving menus and value for money. I fully expect one or two units in the guildhall dining hall will likely be constantly changing chains. It's probably a blessing on disguise that the Princesshay leisure scheme with more restaurants did not see the light of day.
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Old January 13th, 2018, 02:40 PM   #1003
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I tend to agree. However that whole plot is prime for development - rather than let it decay. There is still plenty of scope for the cinema/ new shops on Sidwell & Paris St - and of course the bus station with better public access & public realm. This does not generate high rates like 20 restaurants would...but C E obviously thought this unviable, particularly if some remained empty in the current climate...which is less confident than say a couple of years ago. If you keep on opening more & more restaurants there must be a tipping point where it is no longer viable for so many to continue. Worse than that - it could also take some much supported well established ones with it - especially when at the start people rush to try out somewhere new!
-Or will there be a superstore?
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Old January 13th, 2018, 02:47 PM   #1004
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Another thing I though of...there is also a need for a high corner block to echo J L, rather like the plan before. I am sure, with residential and smart shops below this would be a viable proposition and make a positive statement.
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Old January 13th, 2018, 03:11 PM   #1005
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The national economy isn't doing great; pay is stagnant and inflation is going up, yet rents and rates are still very high. Throw in the Brexit vote which has frightened off a lot of the EU migrants that were the backbone of a lot of these restaurants (and food sector as a whole) and you're left with an industry on shaky ground.
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Old January 14th, 2018, 11:24 PM   #1006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickLW View Post
Another thing I though of...there is also a need for a high corner block to echo J L, rather like the plan before. I am sure, with residential and smart shops below this would be a viable proposition and make a positive statement.
I agree. It needs a high quality building on that sidwell street/Paris street corner. I never liked the two storey building proposed as part of Princesshay leisure. I would like to see a 5 storey stand alone building on this corner that compliments the John Lewis and next buildings. I'm also hoping Waterstones do an external revamp of their roman gate store with their forthcoming refurb of the store on this junction.
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Old January 14th, 2018, 11:29 PM   #1007
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I walked past renslade house today and noticed a new planning notice on the site fence. I went home and looked at the application online and they are seeking to reclad the main tower block. I can't upload the plans on here and won't be able to do so until I get to a computer midweek as i'm away with work the next few days. The cladding proposed looks alright though. Certainly smarter than the concrete cladding at present.
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Old January 15th, 2018, 08:39 PM   #1008
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Current

Proposed rear

Proposed front


A big improvement
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Old January 15th, 2018, 10:58 PM   #1009
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I've only just read the plans in detail. I'm not as pleased as I initially was at the prospect of a reclad if the tower. It seems it's just the glazing that is being replaced and not the actual concrete cladding. Also the glazing will be smaller with use of ceramic panels. It may result in the elevation looking more busy. I actually think the straight lined glazed form of the existing may actually be better than a cluttered elevation. Tall buildings are at their best with maximum glazing.

The ocd in me also hates that link corridor between the west wing and tower block but no link on the eastern wing.

The hotel is going to be a Holiday Inn.

I've also taken a decent look at the arcade student block. It's a reallybcheap and poor quality design in particular the rear elevation. Smythen street may be a backstreet but the rear elevation going to be five storeys high and will therefore be viewable from the river. I'm really hoping ECC request the design is improved during consultation.
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Old January 17th, 2018, 10:35 AM   #1010
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Story on Devonlive about the closure of Polpo with a few quotes from the Guildhall manager about the challenges the restuarants are facing and also about the phase 2 plans.

http://www.devonlive.com/whats-on/wh...ristol-1071256

Just gonna highlight this bit about the phase 2 plans:

Quote:
Mr McNeilly added: "In the new plans we want to create an experience for our shoppers and it has to be leisure led.

"Retail can't stand on its own anymore so in our plans we will create a destination where visitors can arrive in the morning, they can shop, eat and have a good time and leave in the evening.

"We will create a place that becomes a focal point in Exeter."
Whilst the restaurant units in the Guildhall might do this - I can't see the retail units of Sainsburys, Argos, Primark and Wilkinsons keeping people in the Guildhall all day. Maybe this is an indication of what they might be doing in Phase 3? Split those very large units up and target more luxury brands - esp now that the Bus Station redevelopment has ground to a halt.

I was also thinking however the other day about Sainsburys and Argos. Now that Sainsburys owns Argos they're putting Argos stores inside the supermarket now (like in the Sainsburys on Pinhoe Road). If Sainsburys wanted to expand the Guildhall branch, they could take over the Argos unit next door, knock them into one larger unit and squeeze the Argos into a counter within the supermarket. They could probably at least more the Argos stock into the Sainsburys stock room (freeing up the unit Argos is using on the 2nd floor).

I also wouldn't be surprised if the Stone Lane Retail Park Argos moved into the Alphington Sainsburys which is just up the road.
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Old January 17th, 2018, 04:58 PM   #1011
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I used to think The Guildhall Centre was the stale relation to Princesshay but The Guildhall Centre seems to have got the jump start on Princesshay of late and is doing exactly what Princesshay should have done with Princesshay Leisure. Firstly, The Guildhall Centre got in first with their dining quarter before Princesshay, which I think contributed to the saturation of restaurants in the city centre and thus a contributing factor to the deathknell of Princesshay Leisure. The Guildhall Centre are now seeking to incorporate a ten pin bowling alley. There is very much a gap in the market for this sort of facility in the city (the one on the quay is notoriously prickly with parking penalties and is not centrally located) unlike Princesshay's cinema proposal which there probably wasn't demand for. The only other type of leisure missing in Exeter in my view is probably an ice skating rink but I think the Guildhall Centre would have trouble converting any of their centre into such a facility.

I'm not sure about splitting the large units of the Guildhall Centre though. The likes of Primark, Wilkos probably account for the majority of footfall into the Guildhall Centre and are very much the anchors of The Guildhall Centre. Also Princesshay probably has the luxuary market sewn up. The Guildhall Centre would be wise to concentrate on what it is currently doing and being the budget version with the likes of Wilkos, Primark, the music and video exchange shop, etc.

Looking ahead at a possible phase 3, I would suggest they could probably do away with the majority of the 1st floor retail space in the Guildhall Centre, bar Wilkos. Perhaps they could go down the route of converting the 1st floor into residential flats whilst at the same time continue tidying up the elevations on North Street and Paul Street.

I can totally see the Argos at Alphington Street being swallowed up into the Alphington Sainsburys.
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Old January 22nd, 2018, 08:47 PM   #1012
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work is just starting on the new depot at st davids
http://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-...mments-section
It looks like they will be building a bridge structure over station road, anyone know what thats for? will it be to link to another part of the depot on the other side of the road?
May ruin any chances about a potential bridge over the railway on station road a few on here mentioned as a possible solution to the queuing for the level crossing...


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Old January 22nd, 2018, 10:47 PM   #1013
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It's certainly a huge development, and a huge investment in Exeter by GWR. Yes that looks like a footbridge over the road. No idea where it leads to. There are some sidings on the other side of Station Road but I've never seen any rolling stock there. I might go back onto the application and see if there are any clues what the bridge is for.
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Old Yesterday, 12:13 AM   #1014
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From the application it's seems there will be a little enclave the otherside of Station Road comprising of a bundled area for storage of chemicals plus an oil interceptor. The bridge is a pipe bridge. Nothing exciting.
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