Book shop giant Waterstones have confirmed when their new Torquay store will open. Earlier this month, DevonLive revealed that Waterstones were planning on returning to their former premises on Union Street seven years after they left in August 2010.
Since they left, the premises have been home to an HMV store and a Poundland, but soon, the book shop giant will be returning.
Now, DevonLive can reveal that the new bookshop and café will open on Saturday, July 8.
Nine jobs have been created and the team of nine booksellers and baristas led by bookshop manager Paul Stevenson.
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Paul said: “We’re so pleased to be back in Torquay, it’s a wonderful place to run a bookshop – a beautiful seaside town, with a busy tourist trade and thriving high street. We are looking forward to being part of Torquay’s community again, offering a friendly place where everyone can get together and talk about books, share recommendations, and enjoy good coffee and lovely cakes.”
On Saturday, local author T P Fielden will be signing copies of his new book The Riviera Express at the bookshop’s launch, while children’s favourite Peter Rabbit will be cutting the ribbon and making appearances throughout the day.
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A Waterstones spokesman added: “The team have taken great care to curate titles tailored to Torquay’s customers’ interests, with particular focus given to children’s books. The bookshop’s café will host a variety of reading groups for all ages, and offer community groups a welcoming place to meet
“The café will champion local produce including a bakery range from Torquay’s Startime Patisserie and ice cream from Yarde Farm in Plymouth. All coffee is to be made with signature Waterstones blend beans and customers will be able to choose from a range of flavoured iced lattes throughout the summer.”
Book shop giant Waterstones recently announced major expansion plans for their branch on the junction of Exeter High Street and New North Road.
The announcement follows news their other High Street branch will permanently close to become a branch of high-end restaurant The Ivy.
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The company say staff will be transferred across, and the store will gain a third floor – with a larger cafe and book selection.
A spokesperson for Waterstones said: “Exeter is one of a few towns where we continue to run two bookshops in very close proximity.
Canterbury Waterstone’s after a similar expansion and refit
“It is our wish to close the High Street branch and to invest simultaneously in a refit of our Roman Gate shop.
“Roman Gate will be expanded into the second floor, and benefit from a larger cafe. Where we have done this in other towns – notably recently in Edinburgh and Canterbury – we have enjoyed great success with the single, smartened up shop selling more than the two had done.
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“All booksellers will transfer from High Street to Roman Gate. The timing is dependent upon negotiations with our landlords.”
London restaurant brand The Ivy want to open a branch in the lower part of Waterstone’s facing Cathedral Yard.
The new restaurant could create 100 jobs and is part of an expansion of the brand, which has opened in Bristol and revealed plans for an eatery in Bath.
Troia (UK) Restaurants has submitted an application for a change of use 19-21 Cathedral Yard in Exeter, near the Royal Clarence Hotel, which burnt to the ground last October.
The upper floors will become a kitchen and staff rooms.
A statement adds: “The application would see bring a high end, upmarket restaurant to Exeter’s city centre’s which would further expand and diversify its current leisure offering.
“In addition, the proposals would reinvigorate and improve the existing shopfront and overall aesthetic of the building whilst retaining both frontages.
“Whilst the proposals would result in the loss of a retail unit within the primary shopping frontage, it has been demonstrated that this would help to boost the vitality and viability of the city centre, rather than undermine it.”
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Source: Devon live