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Acropolis Cafe to shut its doors
9:00am Wednesday 26th September 2012 in News
A long-established city centre cafe is to close this weekend, blaming a lack of trade against a backdrop of the stalled shopping centre development on nearby Broadway .
The Acropolis Cafe has been trading in Bradford since 1968, first from Bridge Street and then, from 2001, on Broadway itself.
Regular customers contacted the Telegraph & Argus to express their dismay at its closure, and chef Jimmy Styllianou described their last day on Saturday as being “the end of an era”.
Mr Styllianou, whose cousin George Demetriou owns the cafe chain, said the decision was taken around six months ago after two to three years of losing money every week.
“This is the saddest week of my life,” he said. “Trade has been particularly bad for the last three years. Shops have been closing down around us and the number of customers has been dropping.
“We saw a particular drop when the post office closed on Bank Street, as we were always busy on pension day. And then there is the shopping centre development, which we have been waiting for for seven years.
“Our regular customers are very upset, but we can’t afford to keep going anymore.”
He described how his cousin, Mr Demetriou, once operated 20 such cafes across the north of England, with branches in Wakefield, Leeds, York and Harrogate, among others. The closure of the Bradford cafe will leave just one in York.
Mr Styllianou said he followed his cousin over from Cyprus in 1962 as a teenager and that the catering trade had been his whole life. Four other members of staff will be affected by the closure.
Customers reacted with dismay to news that the cafe was to close its doors for the last time.
Suzanne Mitchell, from the Bolton area of Bradford, said the closure was “desperately sad.”
The 48-year-old, who has been a regular customer at the cafe since childhood, said: “It’s a bit of a shock. I can’t remember a time when it has not been around.
“I remember the guy who runs it from when I was young. He’s been hanging on for the Westfield thing, but he’s just not getting enough business any more.
“It’s a real feature of the city centre, with good staff, good service and good food. It’s desperately sad.”