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End of an era for popular Old Town Cafe
8:10am Monday 30th July 2012 in News
THE family behind one of Swindon’s last traditional cafés is moving on after 14 years of cooked breakfasts and friendly conversation.
But Kevin Brasier-Dinning and mother-in-law Jennifer Dinning, who run the Old Town Diner in Devizes Road, will move on to pastures new when the lease expires at the end of next month.
Kevin, 39, will start as a teacher at a local primary school in September and is also hoping to make use of his talents as an artist.
The pair want to sign off on a happy note reflecting their success, which includes a clutch of café of the year awards. “I have mixed emotions,” said Kevin. “I’m not sad because I have had some really great times in here.
“I’m also excited because it’s going to be a whole new adventure and Jennifer feels the same way.
“I will miss seeing the people who have come in day in, day out, but we will remain Swindon people, we are not moving to the moon.
“We live in Lawns and spend a lot of time in Old Town. We might even pop in here for breakfast depending on who’s running it.”
Kevin has also taken part in graduate art shows since completing his studies.
He said: “Four years ago I embarked on a BA degree in fine art and since graduating I’ve never had the chance to do anything with it.
“With the lease coming to an end it is time to put it into practice. The new lease would be for a minimum of five years, by which time I will be well old.
“Now is as good a time as any to make a change.”
Jennifer is looking forward to not doing as many hours, but will continue to run her catering business.
“We will miss the customers and sadly I expect we will be missed too,” she said.
“But the time is right for Kevin to do his teaching and I’ve been finding it a struggle to fit my catering in after work. I just hope the older people who have used the diner as a meeting place find somewhere else to go.”
The cafe has attracted many loyal customers over the years, and the Dinnings do not want people to think the business has folded.
“It’s our choice to move on,” Kevin said. “Over the years we have offered affordable meals to men and women, parents and children and it’s worked.
“We have had a cross-section of people come in from fans on their way to the football to EastEnders actors.
“We have not tried to become a Costa Coffee because that doesn’t suit a family budget. We’ve welcomed people in, and they’ve become our friends and told us their stories.”
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