Fresh blow for Newport, as vegetarian restaurant, Hunky Dory’s closes

CLOSING: Hunky Dory’s owner Shaheen Sutton

CLOSING: Hunky Dory’s owner Shaheen Sutton

First published in Gwent news

ONE of Newport’s only vegetarian cafés has been forced to close due to lack of income, in yet another blow for the city centre.

Hunky Dory’s Café, named after a David Bowie album, has been established at its Charles Street location on and off for 40 years and last year was taken over by Shaheen Sutton.

Ms Sutton, who had no experience running a restaurant but had always cooked her own vegetarian food, stepped in to regenerate the business after being made redundant from her job in human resources.

But last week, Ms Sutton, who also employed two waitresses, was forced to shut up shop.

She said: “Sadly I have had to close Hunky Dory’s down, I was not making an income and I could no longer continue it as a hobby.”

The restaurant served everything fromwatermelon and blackbean curry to chocolate courgette cake, and was a favourite with students.

“I don’t see it as a failure, I went in to volunteer at Hunky Dory’s and then found myself running it,” said Ms Sutton.

“The experience I have gained is enormous and will hold me in great stead when I wish to start again with my own veggie eatery.”

Paul Hawkins, who owns the independent Diverse Music record shop and has been on Charles Street for 13 years after opening in the city centre in 1988, said: “It is a shame to see other buildings going empty, but it seems to be catching in Newport.

“There are other cafés on this street, like the Secret Garden Café which is successful, but people need to support things for them to survive.

“There is a lot of apathy around in Newport.”

Hunky Dory’s is the latest in a long line of city centre businesses to close or move out of town, with independent men’s clothing store Henry Cordy closing last week after more than 100 years.

Mothercare, Next, Burtons, Bonmarche, Sports Direct, Dorothy Perkins, Marks and Spencer, Game,H&Mand other independents including Bethan Gift Shop on High Street have all moved out of the city centre, closed or are in the process of closing.

Comments (18)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

3:05pm Thu 13 Jun 13

Owain Vaughan says...

Nice negative spin on this article. Why use such emotive language as "fresh blow"? Talk up the city, don't talk it down.
Nice negative spin on this article. Why use such emotive language as "fresh blow"? Talk up the city, don't talk it down. Owain Vaughan
  • Score: 0

8:54pm Thu 13 Jun 13

hirise says...

how would you talk it up ?
how would you talk it up ? hirise
  • Score: 0

9:06pm Thu 13 Jun 13

scraptheWAG says...

PLEASE SHUT THIS DOWN and call it east cardiff . oh newport how can you fall so far
PLEASE SHUT THIS DOWN and call it east cardiff . oh newport how can you fall so far scraptheWAG
  • Score: 0

10:00pm Thu 13 Jun 13

bravoscar says...

Why is she smiling?
Shouldn't she be sad?
Probably getting a massive relocation grant of ncc.
Why is she smiling? Shouldn't she be sad? Probably getting a massive relocation grant of ncc. bravoscar
  • Score: 0

11:00pm Thu 13 Jun 13

Limestonecowboy says...

Massive relocation grant please tell us more.
Massive relocation grant please tell us more. Limestonecowboy
  • Score: 0

7:59am Fri 14 Jun 13

Sara_Risca says...

I went to this cafe last week for the first time and loved it!
Such a shame, i had hope to use this cafe more!
I went to this cafe last week for the first time and loved it! Such a shame, i had hope to use this cafe more! Sara_Risca
  • Score: 0

8:06am Fri 14 Jun 13

inkyskin says...

I've heard the food there is really good, unfortunately i'm a carnivore and love meat, so a veggie restaurant doesn't float my boat. a shame for the veggies out there though
I've heard the food there is really good, unfortunately i'm a carnivore and love meat, so a veggie restaurant doesn't float my boat. a shame for the veggies out there though inkyskin
  • Score: 0

9:22am Fri 14 Jun 13

Mervyn James says...

Trying Vegan i Newport was always ambitious, healthy eating here is half the salt on your chips....
Trying Vegan i Newport was always ambitious, healthy eating here is half the salt on your chips.... Mervyn James
  • Score: 0

11:46am Fri 14 Jun 13

MERoden says...

I agree with Owain Vaughan. We should be talking up the city, not talking it down. Too much bad negative talk is what is causing Newport's problems. We need to start talking more positively if we want to attract new investment.

Operating a Vegetarian Restaurant in any town or city is a lot harder because the market for Vegetarian Restaurants is a lot more restrictive. You have a lot less customers wanting just vegetarian food.

The owner of this restaurant would be better off opening a restaurant that does vegetarian food as well as meat. That way, you have access to a much wider range of customers.
I agree with Owain Vaughan. We should be talking up the city, not talking it down. Too much bad negative talk is what is causing Newport's problems. We need to start talking more positively if we want to attract new investment. Operating a Vegetarian Restaurant in any town or city is a lot harder because the market for Vegetarian Restaurants is a lot more restrictive. You have a lot less customers wanting just vegetarian food. The owner of this restaurant would be better off opening a restaurant that does vegetarian food as well as meat. That way, you have access to a much wider range of customers. MERoden
  • Score: 0

12:36pm Fri 14 Jun 13

Wildethoughts says...

This is sad news. I have to say though, I had breakfast here a few weeks ago and it was awful!

As long as the wonderful Secret Garden cafe which is opposite keeps going then there is hope for Newport. It is the best thing about the city!
This is sad news. I have to say though, I had breakfast here a few weeks ago and it was awful! As long as the wonderful Secret Garden cafe which is opposite keeps going then there is hope for Newport. It is the best thing about the city! Wildethoughts
  • Score: 0

2:16pm Fri 14 Jun 13

bulldog85 says...

If you are going to put an article like this in the paper at least get your facts right by carrying out proper research. Firstly game is still in the town and secondly next has left the town but you fail to point out that it has signed a contract to open a store back up in the city centre as part of the friars walk development so this has got to be seen as a positive sign for the city centre that after next moved to spytty that they are coming back to the town. Also you have got the admiral development opposite the train station and the building of new houses and apartments along the river. So stop being so negative about Newport and the city centre this recession has affected countries around the world we are no different to any other town in Britain. So these signs of investment are signs that things are beginning to improve so start being more positive about the future of Newport and stop with the negative publicity it doesn't help
If you are going to put an article like this in the paper at least get your facts right by carrying out proper research. Firstly game is still in the town and secondly next has left the town but you fail to point out that it has signed a contract to open a store back up in the city centre as part of the friars walk development so this has got to be seen as a positive sign for the city centre that after next moved to spytty that they are coming back to the town. Also you have got the admiral development opposite the train station and the building of new houses and apartments along the river. So stop being so negative about Newport and the city centre this recession has affected countries around the world we are no different to any other town in Britain. So these signs of investment are signs that things are beginning to improve so start being more positive about the future of Newport and stop with the negative publicity it doesn't help bulldog85
  • Score: 0

2:59pm Fri 14 Jun 13

DavidMclean says...

Oh PLEASE tell us how to 'talk up' a story about another business closing. This should be interesting. Perhaps 'Great news for city as yet more prime business premises made available'?
Oh PLEASE tell us how to 'talk up' a story about another business closing. This should be interesting. Perhaps 'Great news for city as yet more prime business premises made available'? DavidMclean
  • Score: 0

4:02pm Fri 14 Jun 13

DDDog1 says...

How can you be one of Newport's only vegetarian cafe's?
You're either one of many, a few or you are the only one
How can you be one of Newport's only vegetarian cafe's? You're either one of many, a few or you are the only one DDDog1
  • Score: 0

7:24pm Sat 15 Jun 13

JossexMaindee says...

Wondering who'd spot that DDDog1! I've eaten at Hunky Dory several times while visiting Newport, thought it was great and will miss it
Wondering who'd spot that DDDog1! I've eaten at Hunky Dory several times while visiting Newport, thought it was great and will miss it JossexMaindee
  • Score: 0

9:38pm Mon 17 Jun 13

Robindabank says...

A little bit of diversification would go a long way ...eg free hot water for dosser's would bring in a good crowd.
A little bit of diversification would go a long way ...eg free hot water for dosser's would bring in a good crowd. Robindabank
  • Score: 0

7:15am Tue 18 Jun 13

scraptheWAG says...

have you seen the class of people walking around newport - benefit billys, single mums , shell suit brigade, walking stick crew.
have you seen the class of people walking around newport - benefit billys, single mums , shell suit brigade, walking stick crew. scraptheWAG
  • Score: 0

7:16am Tue 18 Jun 13

scraptheWAG says...

bulldog85 wrote:
If you are going to put an article like this in the paper at least get your facts right by carrying out proper research. Firstly game is still in the town and secondly next has left the town but you fail to point out that it has signed a contract to open a store back up in the city centre as part of the friars walk development so this has got to be seen as a positive sign for the city centre that after next moved to spytty that they are coming back to the town. Also you have got the admiral development opposite the train station and the building of new houses and apartments along the river. So stop being so negative about Newport and the city centre this recession has affected countries around the world we are no different to any other town in Britain. So these signs of investment are signs that things are beginning to improve so start being more positive about the future of Newport and stop with the negative publicity it doesn't help
friars walk lol yeah we know work starts next year
[quote][p][bold]bulldog85[/bold] wrote: If you are going to put an article like this in the paper at least get your facts right by carrying out proper research. Firstly game is still in the town and secondly next has left the town but you fail to point out that it has signed a contract to open a store back up in the city centre as part of the friars walk development so this has got to be seen as a positive sign for the city centre that after next moved to spytty that they are coming back to the town. Also you have got the admiral development opposite the train station and the building of new houses and apartments along the river. So stop being so negative about Newport and the city centre this recession has affected countries around the world we are no different to any other town in Britain. So these signs of investment are signs that things are beginning to improve so start being more positive about the future of Newport and stop with the negative publicity it doesn't help[/p][/quote]friars walk lol yeah we know work starts next year scraptheWAG
  • Score: 0

9:53pm Tue 18 Jun 13

Strider says...

bulldog85 wrote:
If you are going to put an article like this in the paper at least get your facts right by carrying out proper research. Firstly game is still in the town and secondly next has left the town but you fail to point out that it has signed a contract to open a store back up in the city centre as part of the friars walk development so this has got to be seen as a positive sign for the city centre that after next moved to spytty that they are coming back to the town. Also you have got the admiral development opposite the train station and the building of new houses and apartments along the river. So stop being so negative about Newport and the city centre this recession has affected countries around the world we are no different to any other town in Britain. So these signs of investment are signs that things are beginning to improve so start being more positive about the future of Newport and stop with the negative publicity it doesn't help
Maybe you ought to get your facts right, and make sure your accusations are fact not flimsy...

Newport Game closed and Game Station stayed open.. Company was bought out of Administration and all Game Station store where re-branded Game..

Link me to the Story where Next has signed a Contract the Argus said they've expressed interest.. Or are you another person stating your Opinion as fact!

Thisisnotgwent website reports only Debenhams and Ciniworld are onbroad so far and complation date has been put back to 2016
[quote][p][bold]bulldog85[/bold] wrote: If you are going to put an article like this in the paper at least get your facts right by carrying out proper research. Firstly game is still in the town and secondly next has left the town but you fail to point out that it has signed a contract to open a store back up in the city centre as part of the friars walk development so this has got to be seen as a positive sign for the city centre that after next moved to spytty that they are coming back to the town. Also you have got the admiral development opposite the train station and the building of new houses and apartments along the river. So stop being so negative about Newport and the city centre this recession has affected countries around the world we are no different to any other town in Britain. So these signs of investment are signs that things are beginning to improve so start being more positive about the future of Newport and stop with the negative publicity it doesn't help[/p][/quote]Maybe you ought to get your facts right, and make sure your accusations are fact not flimsy... Newport Game closed and Game Station stayed open.. Company was bought out of Administration and all Game Station store where re-branded Game.. Link me to the Story where Next has signed a Contract the Argus said they've expressed interest.. Or are you another person stating your Opinion as fact! Thisisnotgwent website reports only Debenhams and Ciniworld are onbroad so far and complation date has been put back to 2016 Strider
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree