St Andrews streets welcome new businesses

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The last few weeks have seen a series of new business ventures opening in St Andrews.

Three new restaurants, Little Italy Pizzeria on Logies Lane, Dervish Mediterranean Restaurant on Bell Street and Mitchell Delicatessen & Restaurant on Market Street have all opened in recent weeks, while Bell Street has also seen the arrival of Darling, a clothing boutique.

The arrival of these new businesses has provided a welcome injection of fresh enterprise to the streets of St Andrews, which have witnessed the unfortunate closing down of several established businesses in recent years.

Long running establishments such as The Christmas Shop on Market Street and fancy-dress purveyor Anyone for Tennis have been forced to close in the wake of the recession.

Those behind these new business ventures seemed confident of the success of their prospects. Tracy Kinnaird, director of Love La Boutique, the company behind Darling, feels that an outlet focusing on occasion wear is perfectly suited to St Andrews.

“What with the seemingly constant stream of special events, proms, graduations, galas, weddings, etc we felt that we would be doing customers a disservice if we didn’t fill the gap,” Kinnaird said.

Kinnaird acknowledged that tougher economic times had made life more difficult for small shops such as Darling, but argued that “retail is not for the faint-hearted.”

“I’d be lying if I said I was without concern, but I believe that with strong focus, hard work and perseverance it is possible to weather the storm and come out the other end a fitter, stronger business for it,” she added.

Aydan Dag, the manager of Dervish, also has an optimistic outlook. The plot that his restaurant now occupies has changed hands several times in the last couple of years and has seen the closing down of two cafés, Couch and the short-lived Café 13.

However, Dag laughed off concerns that the plot was ‘cursed,’ confident in his assertion that Dervish provided an experience one could not find elsewhere in St Andrews. “I’m not worried,” he said. “This is different, there are no other Turkish restaurants in St Andrews.” Dag aims to totally refurbish the restaurant over time.

Students have welcomed the addition of new businesses to the town, though many mourn the loss of old favourites. Ranald Gordon, a third year Theology student from Edinburgh, typified this response. “While the entry of new businesses into the town highlights the competitiveness of this marketplace, it is a travesty to see the steady decline of local businesses – not least the Christmas Shop,” said Gordon.

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