Loungers and Newark and Sherwood District Council seal Buttermarket deal
Popular national restaurant/bar chain Lounges will be taking up a key tenancy at Newark’s Buttermarket in an agreement with Newark and Sherwood District Council.
Lounges is expected to open up to customers in the spring, heralding an exciting new era for the building which, despite having huge potential, had been left largely empty before coming into council ownership in partnership with Newark Town Council.
The district council has concluded its negotiation with Loungers, operators of Lounges, to bring a varied offer of food and beverages to residents and visitors to the town. Work is currently being carried out to re-fit a third of the building into the new café with the remainder of the building being redeveloped for a new retail and commercial offering.
The restaurant will serve a whole variety of food from breakfast, lunch, tea, and dinner and with a licensed bar will be open through to late evening, boosting the night-time economy.
The Buttermarket, which was bought by the two councils in December last year, has been the home to a number of temporary retailers while the council sought to bring the right occupier who would bring life back into the building.
Both councils regard the iconic building, and the Royal Exchange, as playing a major and strategic role in boosting the town’s retail, cultural and leisure offer.
Gemma Irwin, Loungers Community Manager, said: “We are very excited about coming to Newark as we’ve been looking for a suitable property for a few years. We’ve had many customer requests for us to open in Newark so we’re pleased we can soon open our doors to them.”
Leader of Newark and Sherwood District Council Councillor David Lloyd said: “This is excellent news for Newark, bringing a new business to the town and new jobs which give a fresh boost to the economy.
“Lounges offer a quality, all-day offer which will attract families and additional visitors of all ages to the town centre, particularly in the evening. Their commitment to Newark will also help attract other businesses to the town as part of our regeneration work.
“We recognise that many retailers are facing difficulties at the moment and councils need to take an active and leading role in helping to shape our town centres, their economies and leisure aspirations. The Buttermarket and Royal Exchange are both really important buildings and we want them to be fully functioning so that they contribute to the further development of Newark as a busy and thriving town.”
The district council continues to work toward developing business opportunities and is currently working in a partnership project to redevelop the former Robin Hood Hotel which will be transformed into a 66-bedroom hotel with additional retail units. The project is expected to be completed in late 2020.