Antiques centre returns with new look and railway inspired cafe
PUBLISHED: 13:58 04 September 2020 | UPDATED: 10:00 22 September 2020
Melford Antiques Warehouse in Long Melford has re-opened with a new look, a new owner and a new cafe to celebrate its return.
Following its sudden closure last year, 200 antique dealers who had previously traded and auctioned there were given just five days notice to collect their valuable stock and find other premises to trade in.
One of those dealers, Graham Hessell, decided to take matters into his own hands and took on the lease himself with a determination to overhaul the centre.
He eventually re-opened the business last week - a year after its closure.
Now called Melford Antiques, Interiors and Lifestyle Centre, the site offers a space where artists will be able to work ‘live’ and create their artwork with customers looking on whilst shopping for goods.
Mr Hessell, who also owns Bumpstead Antiques in Steeple Bumpstead, said: “It is once again a place of destination, placing Long Melford very much back on the main track for fine quality antiques, art work and collectables.
“It has been a daunting task and project, not helped of course by the lockdown in March as a result of the coronavirus pandemic which inevitably delayed its opening.
“However, the refurbishment and redecoration of the building is now complete and consequently the excitement of running, trading from and managing this new centre and its eclectic selection of dealers now takes precedence.”
Dealers and small businesses can rent out spaces in the centre, which originally opened in 1992 and is spread over four floors in the expansive building, with a fine mix of antique, vintage and modern furniture and gifts for sale.
The centre is hoping to host late night opening hours in the run-up to Christmas as well as live auctions in the upcoming months.
The new look cafe and tea room is dubbed “The Pullman” and is designed as a railway carriage. It is managed by Joe and Gilly Cerri, who formerly owned Gigi’s Café and Restaurant in Long Melford prior to its closure earlier this year, and is already proving popular with customers.
Mr Hessel said: “All in all it’s a new era, one that I truly hope is successful and happy for all those involved and participating.
“In this regard my team are very conscious of customer service and will, as a result, do our utmost to make everyone’s visit a joyous and successful one.”
For more information on renting spaces, call Graham Hessell on: 07710 282329