Coming soon to Northgate street, The Second Floor at 19a is above Minerva Lodge Tattoo Club and marks the return of two well known Chester creatives to the city’s retail scene. Carrie Elizabeth Sarah Hyndman and Kimberley Anderson, known respectively for their Junkbox and The Grunge Monkey fashion and lifestyle brands, were formely part of the Becnicks team. The closure of Becnicks last year was a big blow to the city’s independent spirit and the owners hope that the new venture which will offer fashion, accessories and more will be “more than just a shop” and act as a creative hub.
Says Carrie, who also performs as part of Campfire Social “We’ve done various different things, outside events, pop ups.. We enjoyed doing them but they’re so tiring and really hard work so its nice to have a base.” Carrie and Kimberley say that they had been looking for new premises for a while and accidentally came across the unit, above the hugely successful Minerva Lodge, which celebrates its 4th birthday this month. They are looking forward to becoming part of Chester’s “bohemian quarter” despite the recent bad press generated for the street following the closure of Mountfords Newsagents in late 2017.
“We’ve had a lot of help from the council” says Carrie . “It isn’t easy and a lot of people are very down about things because the support isn’t visible so you dont know who can help you. We have a good contact sheet of people to support us.” Northgate street has also recently welcomed the Virtual Reality Centre (see https://thechesterblog.com/2017/10/23/virtual-reality-escapes/ ) and the Thai restaurant 9 Elephants.
Second Floor will also include an area for tea and coffee, games and a selection of books, as well as the return of The Bandstand, a showcase for local musicians (see https://thechesterblog.com/2016/09/28/the-bandstand/ ) which was formerly located in Becnicks. There will also be local artwork on display, “”A little bit of everything in a nice relaxed setting. We want you to come and hang out with us!” says Kimberley.
The Second Floor pre launches at the Minerva Lodge 4th birthday party on the 31st March from 630pm. The official opening will be the following week.