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Bury St Edmunds welcomes 16 new shops, restaurants and bars during 2022

Despite the challenges the pandemic posed over the last few years, 2022 proved to be an extraordinary year in Bury St Edmunds with a raft of new shops, bars and restaurants opening in the town centre.

Some business owners took the plunge for the first time, others expanded their enterprises, some made real experiments started during lockdown, and others moved to new, bigger premises, or gave them a new-look.

Another, fashion store Accessorize, even closed down in the arc, and then came back, within the space of a year.

Primark is set to open at the former Debenhams store in the arc
Primark is set to open at the former Debenhams store in the arc

According to Our Bury St Edmunds (BID), the town's business support organisation, vacant units in the town now stand at 6.5 per cent, the lowest for more than a decade.

Two major retailers are also set to move into town, including the much-anticipated Primark in the arc, and Cornish Bakery in place of Palmers on the corner of Abbeygate Street.

Footfall levels throughout the spring and summer this year also saw visitor numbers return to pre-Covid levels

New businesses opened throughout the town
New businesses opened throughout the town

The majority of new businesses opening however have been independents, taking the percentage to more than 60 per cent in the town, for the first time in many years,

Here are some of the shops, bars and restaurants which opened this year

The Olive Grove

The Olive Grove opened in St John's Street in September.

The Olive Grove in St John's Street
The Olive Grove in St John's Street

It's owned by Francesca Behjat and husband George Kontakos, who are both of Greek heritage and met while studying at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge.

The is the couple's second Olive Grove restaurant after their award-winning branch in Cambridge, which opened there in 2013.

Their first hospitality venture together was a bar/restaurant on Elafonisos - where George's family are from - and the family still run a hotel there.

Francesca said: "We have had our eyes set on Bury for about three years.

"We have always wanted to open another Olive Grove, but we felt if we are going to start a franchise we might as well start it somewhere close by; somewhere we could nip to very easily and quickly from Cambridge."

The restaurant offers traditional Greek food with an artisan twist.

Damson &Wilde

Damson & Wilde opened on Abbeygate Street in June.

General manager Fabrizio Lippi with staff at Damson & Wilde
General manager Fabrizio Lippi with staff at Damson & Wilde

The bar and restaurant is at the site of the former Café Rouge, which closed in July 2020.

Damson & Wilde was opened by the City Pub Group, which owns and runs 43 independent premium pubs in the south of the England and South Wales.

Some 20 of these are in London including Covent Garden, Chelsea and Notting Hill.

The company chose Bury St Edmunds to launch its first Damson & Wilde branded bar and restaurant, of which it hopes to open more around the country.

Toby Smith, the group's chief operating officer, said: "Bury seemed the perfect place to to launch the brand, to complement our pub estate."

The venue has been refurbished throughout and features modern decor, in shades of blue, burnt orange, green and white, and blending with some of its more historic features.

Juice Bros

Eat drink and feel good.

Omer Serbetci with staff members and family
Omer Serbetci with staff members and family

That’s the motto of the new healthy juice and food store, Juice Bros, which opened its doors in the arc shopping centre, in July.

The eatery sells a range of healthy drinks and food including plant based organic bowls, smoothies and freshly made juices.

Juicebros was founded in 2006 and is based at RAF Lakenheath.

The company has a contract with the US military and also has outlets at military bases in eight locations around the world, including Germany, Italy and USA.

The Bury store will be its first public commercial outlet and is at the site of the former Jessops photography shop, which closed in August 2020.

Owner, Omer Serbetci, has plans to open others in Cambridge, Milton Keynes and Norwich.

“I've always wanted to open in Bury as I live in the town. We have 12 staff who are also all local," he said.

Claire's House

A former high school art teacher saw her dream come true when she launched a new pottery studio and shop.

.Claire Douglas at Claire's House
.Claire Douglas at Claire's House

Claire Douglas opened Claire’s House in November and was overwhelmed with positive feedback.

Claire, who taught art at King Edward VI School, in Bury St Edmunds, had hoped to just open a studio to teach classes.

But after discovering the former Scandinavian furniture shop, Zooz, in Churchgate Street, was closing down, she realised it was big enough for a shop as well.

Now she sells her own range of pottery and ceramics, but also stocks the work of some 23 artists, with 75 per cent of them local.

“It’s a lovely space with half of it devoted to the studio and half to the shop,” said Claire, who lives in the town.

Claire’s House has six pottery wheels in the studio, and a teaching wheel.

She says pottery is relaxing, mindful and good for clearing the mind, apart from being ‘messy fun’.

She sells her work, including, mugs, bowls, wax burners and plates.

There are items for all areas of the house as well as lifestyle products including jewellery and hair accessories.

Midgar Coffee

A former hotel manager was delighted to tale over a town centre coffee shop

Stuart Hansord at Midgar Cafe
Stuart Hansord at Midgar Cafe

Stuart Hansord, who worked at the Angel Hotel on Angel Hill, Bury St Edmunds, for 12 years, took over at Midgar Coffee on St John’s Street in July, after buying the business.

It’s the first solo venture for the 36-year-old who also kept on its four existing staff.

Midgar Coffee also sells a range of toasties, bagels, single-sliced toast, smoothies, juices and milkshakes.

Mr Hansord has also introduced a wide range of coffee and cakes by Holly Bakes from Stowmarket.

“The coffee shop already has a very relaxed feel and that’s what I’m aiming for."

Wine Cellar

Bradley Dorrington opened the Wine Cellar, at 33 Buttermarket, Bury St Edmunds, in August.

Bradley Dorrington at the Wine Cellar
Bradley Dorrington at the Wine Cellar

The wine bar is table service only, and feature around 100 wines from around the world.

It also serves small plates and sharing boards.

It was a dream come true for the 25-year-old, who has worked in the hospitality industry since leaving school.

He was previously general manager of MJP at the Shepherds restaurant, in Fen Ditton, Cambridgeshire.

The Wine Cellar is at the site of the former Goldsmiths jewellers.

It feature a special ‘wine wall’ from which customers can choose different wines by the glass or bottle.

"We will have wine from all over the world including traditional wine producing regions as well as countries such as Israel, Solvenia, Croatia, the Republic of Northern Macedonia," said Bradley.


The family-run Belgian beer bar opened in July – fulfilling a long-held ambition for the owner of a popular beer shop.

Max van den Oort at Vespers
Max van den Oort at Vespers

René van den Oort, owner of Beautiful Beers in the town's St John's Street, launched Vespers with his son Max after transforming the former RSPCA charity shop in St Andrew's Street South.

It boasts about 50 different bottled beers as well as 15 draught offerings, 10 of which are Belgian with the rest continental, local and from the US.

The bar also specialises in beers from the 12 Trappist breweries at monasteries including in Belgium, Holland, England and Austria.

The name Vespers, a service of early evening prayer, is inspired by the Trappist connection and Bury St Edmunds' history as an Abbey town.

René said: "We've always looked at expanding and after Covid the opportunity arose to do something like this.

"Beautiful Beers has been going since 2011 so rather than starting another shop in another town we thought it would be better to actually sell the beers where people can try them."


Rustico is an independent restaurant offering dishes from across Italy.

Michele Pagliuca and head chef Marian Grosoiu at Rustico
Michele Pagliuca and head chef Marian Grosoiu at Rustico

It opened on Risbygate Streetin February, after the owners spent nearly a year refurbishing an 18th century town centre building.

It's a joint venture between business partners Michele Pagliuca, Marian Grosoiu and Silene Ziglioli.

Michele and Marian previously worked together at Carluccio's and Wagamama in the town, where Marian was head chef and Michele worked in management.

Rustico offers fresh and home-cooked food, as well as wines, from all regions of the restaurant owners' homeland.

"We first looked at the building in 2020 and fell in love with it," said Michele.

"It dates back to 1750 and has been closed for four years before we took it over."


Ben Hutton opened Crumbs in November.

Ben Hutton at Crumbs
Ben Hutton at Crumbs

Crumbs is located in Higher Baxter Street.

Ben Hutton also runs Queens Bar and Grill in Churchgate Street, and had always wanted to open a shop as well.

Crumbs was originally set up as an online-only brand specialising in custom cheesecakes.

These remain its signature, alongside desserts and sweet treats, including cheesecakes, cookies, brownies, cakes and more.

For Christmas he produced a range of goods including from truffle snowmen and reindeer cookies.

"We only needed a little space, as we want people to be able to buy our products in smaller batches," said Ben

"We've been baking at Queens for four years, setting up Crumbs in 2021 to capitalise on our love of cheesecakes, and now it's time to bring it to the town."

Brook Taverner

Men's fashion retailer Brook Taverner opened its doors to customers in Bury St Edmunds today.

Brook Taverner
Brook Taverner

The store, which sells a range of men's clothes including suits, jackets, trousers, formal and casual shirts, knitwear and outerwear, opened this morning at 37, Buttermarket.

The retail chain was founded in 1912 by Frank Brook and Walter Taverner, who met on a boat to Calcutta.

The Bury St Edmunds shop has created six jobs.

In 1967, as tailoring shops were on the wane, Brook Taverner decided to launch a cut, make and trim service and five years later a ready-to-wear range was born.

It now has outlets throughout the country and also sells online.

Vino Gusto

A wine business, which started online and then operated out of a pub, became a new standalone store, in its own right.

Roxanne Marjoram with Jake Bennett-Day at Vino Gusto
Roxanne Marjoram with Jake Bennett-Day at Vino Gusto

Vino Gusto, part of the Gusto Pronto brand, which owns The One Bull in Bury and The Cadogan in Ingham, welcome its first customers to its Hatter Street shop, in March.

It's been a 'three-way' project between Roxane and David Marjoram, owners of Gusto Pronto, and Jake Bennett-Day, group beverage manager for the company.

Vino Gusto launched as an online shop in May 2020 to offer nationwide delivery of a portfolio of 200 varieties.

The new shop in Hatter Street offers an 'immersive experience' with customers also able to take part in wine courses and exams upstairs with Master of Wine Nick Adams.

Meanwhile, on the ground floor customers will be able to load credit on to cards from the shop and serve themselves from a selection of wines.

There are more than 500 different wines on offer at Vino Gusto, some of which can be found in the downstairs 'cave' cellar.


A multi award winning restaurant launched a new shop for its own brand of ready meals.

Romain Arrayet and Karine Canevet at the shop
Romain Arrayet and Karine Canevet at the shop

Pascal Canevet of award-winning Maison Bleue, in Bury St Edmunds, spent months fitting out a new kitchen space to craft his own-brand products and dine-at-home collections.

Pascal’s Country Kitchen is the cooking hub for his brand, LÉA, named after his mother.

The LÉA range of ready meals are now available to buy from the new LÉA shop at the restaurant, in Churchgate Street, Bury.

The ready meal idea is a concept devised by Pascal and his wife Karine during the first lockdown.

“LÉA is freshly prepared and additive free with a variety of seasonal dishes," said Pascal.

LÉA pots can be microwaved for two minutes, or reheated for 20 minutes in the oven, with many dishes ready to eat straight from the pot.

My Whey Supplements

A new shop specialising in supplements for gym-goers and sports people opened in November.

Aras Mustafa at My Whey Supplements in Hatter Street
Aras Mustafa at My Whey Supplements in Hatter Street

My Whey Supplements is the brainchild of fitness fan and former personal trainer, Aras Mustafa.

Based on Hatter Street, Bury St Edmunds, the shop sells a range of supplements and snacks which will aid gym-goers in training, before and after workout, as well as athletes.

These include whey protein isolates, mass gainers, fat burners, pre-workouts, creatine, vitamins, protein bars, and energy drinks.

They can be used to aid a range of sports including body building, track and field, extreme sports, mountain biking, boxing, MMA and cross fit.

"I have used supplements most of my life as I have been training since I was aged, 15," said Aras.

Starlings Toys

A toy store got off to a flying start at its new location with more than 2,000 people visiting when it opened in November.

The opening of the new Starlings Toy store
The opening of the new Starlings Toy store

Starlings Toys opened the doors of its new shop in Charter Square, the arc, Bury St Edmunds.

The shop has relocated from Cornhill where it was based for 16 years.

Queues stretched as far back as the Vodafone store on Auction Street, with the first children in the queue officially opening the shop by cutting a red ribbon.

“It’s another world in comparison with the old store,” said store manager of 23 years, Hayley Pearce.

“We were so busy at the weekend and it’s continued ever since.

The Cheese Hole

The Cheese Hole Co opened in Hatter Street, Bury St Edmunds, in November.

The Cheese Hole Co opened in Hatter Street
The Cheese Hole Co opened in Hatter Street

It replaces Anna, which has since moved to Abbeygate Street.

The shop offers a range of local and regional British cheeses, as well as continental and exceptional varieties.

It also sells a wide range of accompaniments for cheese, including crackers, toast, chutneys and pickles.

Nethergate Shop & Taproom

Nethergate Brewery, a multi-award winning independent real ale craft brewery, opened its store in the town, earlier this year.

Nethergate Brewery Shop (61615816)
Nethergate Brewery Shop (61615816)

Located in the Traverse, it offers a a selection of Suffolk’s best beers, ciders, wines and spirits to enjoy in the comfort of the bar or available to take away.

It's in addition to the brewery's shop and taproom in Long Melford which opened in 2017.