This weekend saw two popular St Andrews establishments shut their doors for the last time. Both Bibi’s Bakery and Bella Italia recently opted to discontinue their trade in town.
The more surprising of the two closures has to be Bella Italia. With the backing of a larger brand as well as good student deals and a consistent crowd most days, it was a shock to many to see the restaurant being packed up on Sunday.
Bella Italia, part of the Tragus Group, operates as a franchise where independent proprietors run most of its stores. Ultimately, it was the current owner’s decision not to renew the lease for the property that resulted in the closure of the restaurant. With St Andrews real estate prices ever inflating, it is possible that profitability would have been jeopardised if business had continued at the existing level.
Bibi’s Bakery, popular among students for their delicious cupcakes, also shut down this week. In a notice on the door, the owner explains that the decision to close “was not made lightly.” This is hardly surprising as its Glasgow store suffered the same fate not that long ago.
It is reported that the owner has deemed it is necessary to turn her focus towards her only remaining store in Edinburgh. However, all existing orders will be fulfilled before the St Andrews branch is permanently removed from its South Street location. Note that Bibi’s Café on North Street is unrelated and will remain open.
Although it is disappointing to see these two businesses go, with the demand for retail space in St Andrews as high as ever and two prime locations now available, it wont be long before a couple of new faces arrive in town.