A popular cafe that has been trading in Swindon for 30-years has now settled into its new home. 

For decades, Lantern's Cafe offered food and drink to Swindon's shoppers from its home on Havelock Street. 

But last month, many customers were shocked to discover that the signage for the venue had been taken down and the building was now empty. 

Business owner Tina Vogel, 57, used to run the cafe with her parents and eventually took over from them.
Swindon Advertiser: Lantern's Cafe has left its town centre home for a new venue

But she had recently made the 'difficult decision to leave the longtime home and take the business to a new venue at the Rodbourne Cheney Social Club on Moredon Road. 

Explaining why, Tina said: "We've been trading there for 30-odd years in one way and another, but it was the right time to make the decision.

"Covid certainly had an impact for obvious reasons, but we got through that thanks to the government grants,

"But there has been a decline in the town centre and it hasn't fully recovered. How many major shops have gone? And the parking charges are high, so many other places in Swindon where you don’t have to pay for parking,"

Tina said that all of this meant she was thinking of calling it a day in the town centre, and after talking to her landlord and discovering he was keen to sell the building, arranged to surrender the lease. 

"I had spoken to the club and asked if they’d be interested in renting out the kitchen and they were, it went from there really."

Tina surrendered her lease at the end of January and moved to the new premises straight after. 

"It was a difficult thing to do, we've been there for 16 years in Havelock Street, and previously we were in the tented market, it was a very difficult decision to leave, this was a family business that that my parents started and so is sentimental, so it was a sad day

"I am also sad for some of our regular customers, many of which became friends within the cafe. I didn't want to let them down but unfortunately with the high rent and general outgoings, having a place in the town centre became no longer viable, and I didn’t want to lose the business, so I had to find a way to keep our good name going.

"I think I’ve done that."