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.