Cafe zero

photoJust as coffee shops and restaurants become all the rage, one long established cafe closes, leaving a gaping hole in the centre of Caversham.

After 17 years the Caversham Cafe has found life unsustainable in a precinct which is about to get a new lease of life.

A cafe of sorts has existed there since the centre opened in 1969. It even has the original tables.

But what’s most alarming is that this was a treasured independent, the type that makes Caversham so popular. If there is a desire by operators Hermes to get a national chain into this unit – and there is good reason to suggest that – this could be a sign that Caversham is falling prey to clone town syndrome.

If that were to happen, a slow decline would start. Few would notice at first but eventually its appeal will fall away and locals will be stuck with a satellite of Reading, which is easily reached by bus.

The next few years will be decisive in whether Caversham continues to thrive or just becomes a scaled down image of the town centre.



About Alan Bunce

Freelance journalist Former Community Editor with the Reading Post. Former Business Editor with the Reading Chronicle.
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