Bury St Edmunds: Pop-up cafe in historic quarter ‘more fitting to a seaside pier’

Shoppers out in force in Abbeygate Street, Bury

Shoppers out in force in Abbeygate Street, Bury

A pop-up cafe has been accused of lowering the tone of one of the most prestigious streets in a west Suffolk town.

Dolly Green’s Pop-up Catering opened at the start of April and was designed to make use of an empty shop unit and make the centre of Bury St Edmunds appear more vibrant.

But now, following an application by owner Chris Jevons to bring outside tables and chairs to the Abbeygate Street site, neighbours have rounded on the temporary café, criticising its “ugly” fittings and questioning why it is being allowed to undercut long-term tenants with cheaper prices.

In documents that will be considered by a St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s licensing committee on June 5, three businesses objected to tables and eight chairs being placed outside the café until the end of August.

John Deane-Bowers, managing director of menswear store Trotter & Deane, said the smell of fried food “polluted the immediate environment to great detriment to my business”.

In a letter of objection, he added: “Dolly Green’s Pop Up Catering operation, in the opinion of some, is more akin to a low grade café in a rather rundown caravan park than to a street café in a historic quarter of an important Suffolk town.”

Nicola Sexton, who runs a boutique shoe shop of the same name, wrote: “The design of Mr Jevons’ street café is not in keeping with Abbeygate Street, which is often referred to as the most prestigious street in Bury St Edmunds.

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“This green stripy backdrop and ugly plastic ice-cream cone looks more fitting to a seaside pier, not a historical market town.”

Richard Bird, of the Street Level café, claimed that the operation should be “shut down immediately” to prevent “doing considerable damage to the existing stakeholders”.

But Mr Jevons, who owns Bury Fish and Chip Shop in St Andrews Street South, insisted the pop-up shop was doing nothing wrong and nothing different from other businesses.

He added that complaints about prices and appearances were just “sour grapes”.