With lockdown still firmly in place as we approach the end of January, it’s fair to say that 2021 hasn’t got off to the easiest start for anyone.
However, it’s our job to try and stay positive and helpful in these challenging times, and, even now, Durham certainly has nuggets of good stuff to celebrate if you look for them.
Opening a new shop is tough at the best of times, but doing so in 2020 deserves extra-special credit. So, it was really heartening to see a flurry of new independent retail and hospitality businesses open in Durham last month – including Mr Bojangles coffee house, taking over the former Blaze unit in Saddler Street.
Owned by a local family – Justin Messenger and his partner Gemma – Mr B has quickly gained a following for its locally sourced coffee and menu of tasty treats, including delicious bagels and jacket potatoes.
In the coming months, as things return – hopefully – to some kind of normal, Justin has exciting plans to expand the menu further, and to make use of the building’s upper floors.
At some point we’ll also be allowed to make use of Mr Bojangles’ cosy indoor seating, though current COVID restrictions obviously mean that the business is currently takeaway only – as it has been right from opening its doors six weeks ago.
During the current lockdown, Mr Bojangles is operating with reduced opening hours to serve customers who are in Durham city centre for work, essential shopping or exercise. We recommend visiting the Mr B Facebook page to check the latest opening times.
We wish Justin and his team the best of luck, and look forward to paying a return visit before too long!
9 Saddler Street is such a prominent shop, so it’s particularly lovely to see it occupied again – even if, for now, there aren’t quite so many people around as usual to enjoy it.