I missed it earlier in the Thanet Times, but YATESs is the latest victim of a dying Margate.
As my taxi brought me home from the fracture clinic, I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw that the normal gang of afternoon drinkers were not in place in YATESs on the corner of Cecil Square.
According to Richard Spillet's report, staff were given a week's notice and yesterday was the last day at work for 12 staff. YATESs web site already shows Margate is no longer a venue.
I suspect that the smoking ban and Margate's declining night life are the prime causes. Not only has Margate now ceased to be a busy town during the day but its night- life is fast imploding. When a 'chain' like YATESs is looking at its own declining sales and profitability it has to make hard choices and closing at Margate after 8 years in the town is the result.
It now joins The Cottage and The Wellington (in the up and coming artistic old quarter!) as closed watering holes in Margate since Christmas. I predicted last year on another site( that has now been closed/suspended or whatever) that crunch time for Margate businesses would be Jan/Feb/Mar 2008 and that prediction is now proving too correct.
Westwood was bad enough as a characterless shopping precinct but also allowing bingo, casino, eateries and a multi-plex cinema to open up at that depressing site has made sure that Margate's night-life will now die as well as many of its High Street shops. The decline is proving remorseless and the callous deliberate demise of Dreamland aided and abetted by TDC ignoring an Independent Planning Inspectors recommendations has hastened it.
I am afraid that I believe we have reached the point where further decline is now inevitable and that closures will accelerate. The problems shared by all 'sea-side' towns has been exacerbated by our own Council as they followed the 'Holy Grail' of The TC , made the ghastly mistake of allowing Dreamland to be half residential and Westwood to be a 'new town'. If Margate has collapsed in the past 3 years so dramatically during the 'economic ' good times, how can we really expect it to improve, now the cold winds of recession are gathering force.?
Are there any optimists out there still?
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