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New restaurant quarter in Gloucester 'will bring people to city at night'

By The Citizen  |  Posted: February 08, 2014

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Comments (16)

A NEW restaurant quarter could persuade swathes of Gloucester’s over-30s who do not want to come into the city in the evening to give it a second chance.

They are turned off by a lack of one defined area for eateries and the bars of Eastgate Street do not appeal to the older generation, councillors have found. Finding new ways to boost the city’s evening economy has been the focus of a special task force of city councillors over the past few months.

They said a new restaurant quarter, brighter street lighting and better transport links will help to drive people back into the city.

Gloucester mayor Chris Chatterton, who has been involved in the task force, said: “There is a feeling that we cater well for a particular part of the population, but not so well for the 30 to 50-year-olds and the silver pound.

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“We have been looking at what is keeping them away from the city centre and we found that some still have a negative perception of the city.

“We want to see a recognised restaurant quarter. People felt that there wasn’t a place in the city centre that was attracting them despite there being a few good, but isolated, restaurants on offer.”

Sebastian Da Silva has run his tapas restaurant Sebz in Northgate Street for seven years and has been operating eateries in the city centre for 27 years.

He said: “I think it will be very difficult but it is a good idea. But, in a city, I’m not so sure all the restaurants and cafes should be all close together. I’d like to see them spread out so people go to other parts of the city too.”

He said it would be a “difficult” decision to move his own business to any new restaurant quarter.

The task force, which discussed the plans on Wednesday night, also wants to see better co-ordination between major events and night time businesses such as pub and bars. It pointed to the Three Choirs Festival, held last year, in which 2,000 people left the cathedral after a performance late into the evening but had nowhere to go afterwards.

New evening vitality grants are being given out by Gloucester City Council to firms who want to open new restaurants and bars in the city and several expressions of interest have been received.

Council leader Paul James said: “The Quays have done incredibly well and we can be proud of that but the city centre needs to raise its game and get a share of the action.”

Shops will be encouraged to hold late-night shopping events and bars will be asked to put on special offers during major events as part of the proposals.

JUSTIN Hudson is

Manager of Butlers bar, chairman of Gloucester LVA

and a director of the new Business Crime Reduction Partnership in the city.

"My basic stance for a Gloucester wish list would be for Eastgate Street to be made into a single lane of vehicular traffic, making the pavements wider on either side, allowing a Parisian cafe-style culture with outside eating areas, with heated umbrellas. We need a mainline food establishment to be sited in Eastgate Street, namely a large KFC, or Burger King, to bring the standard up of current late night offerings. We need a cafe- style culture, with street dining, street furniture, maybe some trees under lit. This is all very achievable with a vision and a hunger for change. I'm hoping the King's Quarter development will kick start things, we could rename the street, the Eastgate Quarter."

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16 comments

  • jas37  |  February 08 2014, 10:07PM

    Is there still a plan for a Theatre/performance venue within the Blackfriars development plan? (a positive idea) Improving the street lighting in parts of the City centre would also have a positive affect, there's currently too much inconsistency. The evening footfall in Southgate street has clearly increased since the new Cinema and Restaurants at the Quays opened but the lighting of the walk between the two is inconsistent. The lighting in the area of the Barge Arm buildings is dim and patchy, this could easily be addressed by removing the baffles within the lamps (I don't understand why someone thought these baffles were needed). The lighting in Greyfriars Via Sacra is patchy and even in the Gate streets when lights fail it is often several months before they're repaired.

  • Glos_Lad34  |  February 08 2014, 9:22PM

    Why don't they just call the Restaurants at the Gloucester Quays, The Restaurant Quarter?

  • honslknjklyt  |  February 08 2014, 8:21PM

    Get rid of the druggies, self made homeless, the ones who rifle through bins and the beggars, and Gloucester just might become a bit more appealing. As for "free parking", anti-parking charge campaigners will always blame parking, even when it is free such as in Gloucester centre after 6pm and all day Sunday.

  • Paul2534  |  February 08 2014, 6:07PM

    Umm I don't think we need more restaurants there as been a lot open over the last year in the docks/quays. However Eastgate street does need to be cleaned up! We don't nee 3 or 4 shops selling cheap fags and alcohol on ONE street. I think Gloucester needs a theatre and concert hall. Or they could move the Eastgate Market there when TK max take there space

  • citon  |  February 08 2014, 4:25PM

    What are they wondering?

  • jackson99  |  February 08 2014, 3:29PM

    Gloucester city at night is just full of young pople who are drunk wondering from pub to pup then to a club. This may suit the owner of the these businesses, but not people who want a nice night out with a meal and more muture entertainment. .Seems this new task force is more about what the pub/club owners want than what the public want.

  • Kay_Powell  |  February 08 2014, 1:50PM

    Here here, Apothegm. The 'night-time economy' is the very reason that so many decent people give Gloucester a wide berth.

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  • Apothegm_  |  February 08 2014, 1:30PM

    It seems to me that we are running out of Quarters to allocate. But I don't think the answer is to pander to bar owners whose apparent enthusiasm is to shut down Gloucester streets at night to ordinary citizens, and open them up to drunken young people who spend money in their bars. BTW that was a neat move to get yourself made "a director of the new Business Crime Reduction Partnership", and apparently aim to hide your not-so-hidden agenda!

  • jas37  |  February 08 2014, 11:27AM

    Leorche, hasn't evening parking in the City Council car parks been free for at least the last couple of years?

  • Lecorche  |  February 08 2014, 11:07AM

    I love eating out but won't go to any place that doesn't have free parking. There are many eateries that are close to but not in the centre that provide my needs. Why should I consider Gloucester Centre as the place to be?

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