Hartlepool Marina restaurant closes, blaming parking charges

Jack Rabbit Slims at Hartlepool Marina.
Jack Rabbit Slims at Hartlepool Marina.
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A restaurant at Hartlepool Marina has closed after just 18 months, citing car parking charges for keeping people away from the area.

Jack Rabbit Slims American-style diner on Navigation Point announced it has ceased trading with the loss of eight jobs.

Owner Adam Taylor said parking charges introduced in 2010 were putting people off from visiting the parade which is home to a number of bars and restaurants.

“The main issue we had and other businesses have is footfall,” said Mr Taylor.

“From our research it is basically down to the car parking. The wardens start at 9am or 9.30am so people think if they leave their car overnight they will get a ticket first thing in the morning.

“It only takes one person to get a ticket and straight away 10 people know and will say ‘don’t go to the marina’.”

Visitors to Navigation Point can park free for 30 minutes before having to pay but Mr Taylor said that is not long enough for anyone having a meal.

He added: “The drop in footfall, along with high street rents and astronomical business rates, can only end one way.

“Personally I think the parking charges also need to be reviewed to allow people a couple of hours free so they can enjoy a drink or a meal without the worry of a heavy fine for visiting this lovely area.

“A lot of people have put everything into it. It is just a shame to walk away from it but that’s the unfortunate position we have been left in.

“In my opinion things are only going to get better once the parking situation changes or if the landlord invests more in their marketing budget to get more people into the marina again.”

Jack Rabbit Slims, named after the diner in the movie Pulp Fiction, opened in the former Tabarrini’s restaurant in summer 2014.

It followed a £500,000 revamp of the area by landlords Mandale.

No-one from Mandale was available for comment yesterday.

When the parking charges were first introduced Mandale said they would not affect businesses and income would go towards the upkeep of the area.