Date finally set for iconic Northampton coffee shop to open after being resurrected by pub landlords

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Lawrence’s is returning to St Giles Street, thanks to two passionate pub landlords

An iconic Northampton coffee shop that has been closed for six years has been resurrected by two local pub landlords and is finally set to reopen next month.

Lawrence’s in St Giles Street, which was part of the Oliver Adams building, traded in the town centre for decades before it closed in 2017.

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Now, thanks to pub landlords, Craig Ryan and Martyn Edwards - who run the Edge of Town and Bat and Wickets - Lawrence’s is making a comeback as an independent coffee shop.

Lawrence's in St Giles Street is set to reopen in February.Lawrence's in St Giles Street is set to reopen in February.
Lawrence's in St Giles Street is set to reopen in February.

Craig said: “The public reaction has been amazing. Throughout the whole project, the only complaint I’ve had is about how long its taken. Everyone else is like that’s wicked, I can’t wait, I thought it would never come back.”

When asked about how the landlords are feeling ahead of the coffee shop’s opening on Friday February 24, Craig said they are excited they are finally there after waiting for over a year to secure planning permission.

However, one worry playing on their minds is West Northamptonshire Council’s proposal to scrap free weekend town centre parking and increase all hourly rates. Their public consultation into this proposal ends today (January 31).

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Craig told the Chronicle & Echo: “We are pretty nervous obviously and just hoping that the council don’t actually put up the parking charges as well because that will kill us before we even start.”

Martyn Edwards and Craig Ryan also run the Edge of Town pub.Martyn Edwards and Craig Ryan also run the Edge of Town pub.
Martyn Edwards and Craig Ryan also run the Edge of Town pub.

When Craig and Martyn purchased Lawrence’s after six years of it sitting derelict, almost everything was gone except for a couple of light fittings.

The coffee shop has now been transformed with dark blue panels, brown stylish leather sofas and lots of Northampton memorabilia from old pictures of the Market Square to bottles from the original Phipps Brewery. In the collection is also a set of scales made in Northampton during the Victorian era.

The landlords have endeavoured to preserve as much of Lawrence’s old charm as possible, including its friendly service that former customers were used to and they have even acquired the recipes to the legendary Northampton Cheesecake and Lemon Meringue Pie - two Lawrence’s favourites.

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Craig hopes that resurrecting Lawrence’s will encourage more business-minded people to bring back other nostalgic venues they liked to see in the town centre - or perhaps even embark on a venture that has never been seen before.

He said: “People say ‘oh, there’s nothing in Northampton’ and I do get where they’re coming from but, if you let them put you off going into the town centre, then you are just letting them win. And we don’t want them to win. We are here to stay. We want to get the town back on its feet.

“We need to bring back things now or there will be nothing left, there will be just flats.”

Craig and Martyn will serve early morning breakfasts, as well as afternoon teas and coffee. They also have plans to introduce an evening menu so the venue can remain open for dinner service too.

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Lawrences will be open 8am to 5pm from Monday to Saturday. Within two months of opening, the coffee shop will be looking to extend their opening hours to include Sundays so they can serve roast dinners.

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