Town centre cafe closes

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A POPULAR shopping centre cafe has suddenly closed.

The cafe, which has been trading under the name of BB’s Coffee and Muffins, in Hartlepool’s Middleton Grange Shopping Centre, closed last week.

It was a popular part of the centre as people could sit and have something to eat or drink in the open space off the centre’s square while watching passing shoppers.

It also provided takeaway drinks and snacks.

The details of why the cafe closed suddenly have not yet been revealed.

A spokeswoman for the shopping centre, which is owned by PPG, said: “The tenant of the mall café, RGF (UK) Ltd, trading as BB’s Coffee and Muffins, went into administration in October 2009.

“The company is now insolvent pending dissolution.

“PPG has taken appropriate action to protect its interest.”

A spokesman for BB’s Coffee & Muffins said that since October 2009 the cafe has not been part of the firm’s group and a dispute has been ongoing into the use of its name.

He added: “It was part of the network but was taken over by an independent operator.

“We understand it is now closing.”

Perhaps the cafe’s most famous customer was snooker legend Jimmy White.

RGF (UK) could not be contacted for comment.

The Whirlwind stopped off for a drink in May 2008 when he was visiting the town to take part in a tournament at the Headland’s Borough Hall, where he competed against former world champion Alex Higgins.

Carol Neesam and Dot Byers, who worked at the cafe at the time, were quick to get a photo with the friendly sports star and told of their joy in the Mail.