Bookingham Palace incorporating Vinyl Richie which opened in the market back in 2016 is moving to new premises on Northgate street. Having been one of the key traders in the market’s revival in recent years, owner Richard Newton has made the surprise move of rejecting a place in the prestigious Northgate development market scheduled to open in October. The move continues the trend of successful ex market traders moving into their own premises, following the example of Stile Napoletano, That Beer Place, Peak Sandwiches, Ian’s 5 a day, and soon, Death by Tacos
“The new store will be everything and more” says Richard. ” There will be twice as many books and record and there will be a dedicated comic book section. I will be having authors doing signings, and also renting the shop out as a space in the evening and I will also be teaching guitar and ukulele from there as well” Retaining part of his market family, Richard will be employing Carla, formerly of the recently closed Franky’s Fancy Dress on a full time basis, and Mo from the Roman’s Cafe part time.
He says that Northgate street is “close to the existing market and the new market so I can say in touch with friends and its an up and coming area. With the bus station moving up the road, everyone has to come down here. On the very first day when I was looking around it I was amazed by how many people were coming past. I have been introduced to some of the businesses’ including our neighbours Just Cuts and Picnic”. Recently Northgate street has become an independent hot spot with traders such as Chip’D, The Second Floor, Neighbourhood bakehouse etc as well as new businesses joining Rufus Court.
On his reasons for moving he says: “I want to be independent and its more beneficial for my business to not have an overlord. There will be less limitations on days and hours of trade.” He says his rent will be cheaper in his new home and offers some constructive criticism of the council.
“Overall its been a great experience. I’ve met some lifetime friends and people I wouldn’t have met If I’d carried on working in a bank. Obviously everything has its negative points but on the whole its been really positive and I’m glad I did it, I feel I’ve honed my skills in there. It is a great place for people to start their own business without the daunting task of going straight onto the high street. Its a gateway for new businesses. I have seen a lot of people that started after me and they went and did it, that gave me the push and confidence to go and do it.
As he steps into a new chapter Richard says :”Id like to thank all my customers who have supported us since our humble beginnings back in 2016.”
Councillor Richard Beacham commented on the news :
“Richie’s shop will undoubtedly be a success and will be another brilliant addition to an already thriving independent scene. The whole area around Northgate is being transformed and I can see why the unit he wants to move into is an opportunity he doesn’t want to miss. There is a fair amount of competition for small, street level units in the city’s historic core at the moment, so if one comes up then I guess you have to follow your instincts. I’m looking forward to seeing what he does with the space – it’s exciting!
“Markets are incubators for businesses, allowing entrepreneurs to try out new ideas and upscale them into the high street. I hope this is a tradition which continues in the new market. This is a challenging time for the current market as some traders transition out to new units in the city centre or the suburbs, whilst others want to stay on until the new market opens. My view remains the same as it always has, we should all do what we can to eat local and shop local, so we support independent businesses in the area we live, in the market and in our city centre. Supporting local businesses is one of the best things we can to make our city’s economy stronger and our city’s identity more unique – Bookingham Palace and Vinyl Richie are brilliant examples of the kind of authentic small business which will define Chester’s retail experience now and in the future – best of luck Richie.”
The new Bookingham Palace will be opening in early July and trading in the current market until the end of June.