Saturday, 26 November 2011

Restaurant to leave Forest Court

ITALIAN restaurant Da Santino is to leave Forest Court in Dorridge next month.


Click the headline or link below to read the rest of this story.

The restaurant will close on December 24 after 25 years at the precinct.

It comes days ahead of a council vote on whether the centre should be replaced by a major Sainsbury’s supermarket and shops development.

It means Dyhouse Pharmacy will be the last unit left in the 1960s precinct. Jo Jo’s card shop will shortly leave for a unit on Station Approach.

Julie Cervelli, who runs the restaurant with husband Gabrielle, said the move was through “mutual agreement” with Sainsbury’s.

She said: “Because of the state of the precinct it is very difficult to trade under those circumstances.

“We feel the time is right for us to go, we have gone on as long as we could. We are very grateful for the support we have had from customers.”

She said: “We are sad because it is a family run business, I do the cooking, my husband is front of house and we have traded successfully over the last 12 years.”

Yet she said: “We have never faced such a difficult time as over the last three years with all the talks and the bad publicity surrounding the precinct.

“Everybody was talking about it being dilapidated and not fit for purpose, which I would agree with.”

Click here for Sainsbury's stories.

The firm had not been offered a restaurant unit planned as part of the new development, to be considered by councillors on Wednesday.

And she said it was unlikely Da Santino would re-open in Knowle or Dorridge.

Mrs Cervelli said: “There is nothing really available for us in the area, it would cost us too much to relocate.”

The couple took over the restaurant 12 years ago. It employs three part-time staff.

She said: “We are one of the longest established independently run restaurants in the West Midlands.”

Asked for her view of the Sainsbury’s proposals, she said: “It is entirely up to the residents to decide what they want.”

Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council’s planning committee will meet at 4.30pm to consider the plan at its town centre offices on Wednesday. The public can attend.

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  1. Leaving or being pushed out?

  2. I am sure I read somewhere on here that Sainsbury's were quoted as saying they (Da Santino) would be invited to apply for one of the independent shops( which I have to say sounded dodgy at the time) Seems they weren't. Maybe we'll have McDonalds instead - lovely!!!!!
    Maybe a McCafe?

    I have to say I am not surprised at all, another independent retailer bites the dust. The first of many in Dorridge I suspect. When will people open their eyes to the reality of it all.

    Very best wishes to Julie and Gabrielle, you will be much missed.

  3. Which independent retailers do you refer to? I can't really think of any beyond the pharmacy, the butchers and the off licence. The pharmacy is being incorporated, the butchers welcome the development and the off licence isn't very good.

    I do hope this gets approved next week, it will be terrible for Dorridge if it doesn't.

  4. Smaller store supporter27 November 2011 at 11:44

    Here's a list of independents that have bitten the dust since Sainsbury's showed up...

    Redcurrant Deli
    The seed/gardening shop
    Dorridge Auto - lost to Knowle
    Dorridge Music School - ditto
    Michael Peters (flooring) - lost to B. Heath
    And now, Da Santino

    (You might also include the florists and the shoe shop - although, even I think the shoe shop is streching it a bit!)

    As for the butchers, the off-licence and the card shop anyone care to predict how long they will last? Or how long before Sainsbury's takes over the pharmacy?

    No 10:14, it will not be terrible if this mini retail park doesn't get approved next week - it will force Sainsbury's to finally listen and come back with something of a size that satisfies more than 1% of locals and answers the questiosn raised by DDRA, DROVS and the Knowle Society.

    There is no need to rush into this; it will be here for at least a generation.


    * Just 1% of respondents to a DROVS backed poll wanted a store MORE THAN THREE TIMES THE SIZE OF TESCO KNOWLE.

  5. DROVS (dorridge residents observe vacant shops)!27 November 2011 at 12:07

    Good local independant stores can thrive; aka Knowle which has numerous ones. If they don't survive in dorridge it will not be Sainsburys fault. It will be either yours and mine for not spending our money with them, or the small retailers for not providing what people want to buy.

    There were numerous independant retailers coming, and failing/going before Sainsburys.

  6. That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore27 November 2011 at 13:13

    You've made the the "vacant shops" joke once. It's a shame you have so much disregard for local people who care about where they live.

    If you'd been paying attention, you'd know that DROVS support a Sainsbury's on the site - a fairly sizeable one too. They siply oppose the current ill-conceived plan.

    Oh, and seeing as you like to poke fun at others, may I point out that it's 'independent', not 'independant'. My son knows that and he's nine.

  7. Da Santino - lease has run out. They could have negociated with Sainsbury's like the butcher and card shop but have chosen not to.
    Bit silly to start this McCafe business - though it is difficult to fill independent units country wide - as people retire no one wants to take them on. Better chance here as all types of business will be able to apply and the fact that the Sainsbury's will pull people into the centre which will help provide customers for them.
    Don't think picking on people's spelling very constructive.
    Actually I care about where I live and that is why I'm for the development - If the anti group could just stand back and look at the positives and stop catastrophising they might see this too.

  8. I um in favor of the bigg shop as it is grt. It iz crap in doridg at the momunt.

  9. Mini retail park - is it really? I mean Really?
    1% of people want this?? Really - only 1%?
    48% bigger than original development?!!! - er no!
    Forest Hotel against - er no!
    Flood-lighting to roof - er no!
    Gridlock will ensue - er no!.......I won't go on.
    I agree with 16.46 to be honest - more sense than most of the posts!

  10. Picture heading up this article says it all....knock it down, and bring it on!

  11. 11.44 Well put.

  12. 13.41 If the above article is correct Da Santino were not offered a unit. They may not have had the opportunity to negotiate.

  13. The idea of a McCafe is not so silly as I agree with a previous blogger that it is difficult for independent businesses to make a go of it. At least it would be open all day and a McCafe is probably more appropriate next door to a supermarket. Very few people would consider a shopping centre the ideal venue for a romantic meal, what with trolleys clanging etc., I couldn't think of anything worse, however,great for a coffee to settle the nerves after struggling to find a park :-)

  14. Upmarket, not supermarket28 November 2011 at 12:18

    The retail units that have sprung up near to the Sainsbury's at the Maypole that Cllr Meeson has likened to this development (I have his email to hand, scouts' honour) include:

    Kentucky Fried Chicken

    Can we look forward to some similarly upmarket establishments in Dorridge?

  15. Sainsbury's said when the new plans came out that the independent restaurant unit would be put out on the open market and Da Santino would not be given first refusal.

  16. Above comment seems a bit strange,obscure to say the least?

  17. 12:18
    I think the type of retail units at the Maypole say more about the Maypole than Sainsburys wouldn't you think?

  18. As above points out - location dictates the stores at the Maypole.
    Have to say I have not been to Da Santino for years - no a romantic location at all but I have been to the Forest and Minh's - and would visit a new restaurant in one of the new units if it was of a good standard.
    We don't know what will be in the new units - so how can you justify making a list of your least favourite stores? How about sticking to the fact!

  19. 12.18 Probably. Complete with all the empty wrappers etc that are dropped out of car windows.

  20. In the above article Julie Cervelli is quoted as saying that is up to the residents to decide what they want. If only that were true, I am sure we would have a smaller store with the infrastructure to cope and we would all be happy.

  21. well I'm local and I'm for this project so I wouldn't be happy and - you know what - I'm not the only one!!
    Bit fed up with DROVS claiming they represent the community - what about the 1,800+ names on the doctor's surgery!
    What about the local businesses who've written in support of it.
    Seems you are determine to ignore anyone who doesn't agree with you

  22. So now we're talking about imaginary litter from imaginary fast-food outlets

  23. You've forgotten to add in the imaginary gridlock and floodlighting...

  24. Dorridge mum with kids locally28 November 2011 at 23:24

    12:18 and similar comments seem a bit daft. Frankly Dorridge is more likely to attract independent shops similar to the range in Knowle. The Forest is a lovely place to eat, and we now have station cafe bar. Also curry and Chinese. I really can't see people stopping coming to those- or there being room for more - because there is a supermarket closeby.

    I can't recall ever saying "oh no lets not go to loch fyne in Knowle because it's close to a supermarket - oh no it's ok coz it's not a large store..."!

    I feel sorry for the sensible members of Drovs who must find some of these rather hysterical rants above an embarrassment.

    On balance I would rather have a store that is big enough to do my weekly shop, than too small, and I hope it additional people will make new independent stores viable as well as boost business for those already here.

  25. all members of DROVS are sensible, some of what is written here about them is complete nonsense and please dont think that every anti letter is from a DROVS member, although they may be DROVS supporters.

  26. 23.24
    You forget that Knowle currently only has one small supermarket and at the moment the town appears to have a workable balance plus also many Dorridge residents currently shop in Knowle.
    Add another supermarket to Knowle and remove those that change to Sainsbury's and it might be a different story.

  27. Dorridge resident30 November 2011 at 00:04

    23:24; wouldn't that make things better!? Spread the load between Knowle and Dorridge more evenly?

    I'm not sure many would agree Knowle has a "workable balance" at the moment, and certainly no balance between Knowle and dorridge.

  28. An English town that can still support a supermarket, baker, deli, greengrocer, butcher etc and still maintain its character is working really well. Well done Knowle.

  29. 01:05 well said

  30. i dont think it is reasonable to compare knowle with Dorridge. The current supermarket is very small in comparison with what is planned for dorridge and is also tucked away within a precinct. The High Street in Knowle is vast compared to the very few available shop space in Dorridge. The huge difference also being that Dorridge Village center will be swamped
    by the visual impact of a large Supermarket.

  31. I agree with everything you say. 12.06
    Knowle is working well because its supermarket is not out of proportion to its surroundings and other businesses.
    Unlike Dorridge of course.

  32. So now we're talking about imaginary litter from imaginary fast-food outlets
    GIVE ME A BREAK! restaurant in solihull