It feels like an age ago now, but back in December – when all Durham’s shops were allowed to open their doors in the run-up to Christmas – it was a real pleasure to visit The Boathouse at 70 Saddler Street (the building that was previously home to Scorpio).
It’s one of several new independent businesses that launched in the city centre between the second and third lockdowns, and a really positive sign that, even amid all the current challenges in retail, there are still new businesses keen to trade in Durham.
Local people seemed to welcome the opening, too – with a Facebook reach of more than 11,400 people, our post from December about the new shop has been one of our most popular to date!
We enjoyed visiting new independent clothing retailer The Boathouse in #Durham today. This little shop packs a lot in, including beautiful womenswear items and attractive Durham-themed items! More pics on our Instagram at https://t.co/LGjApAFDao. #retail #highstreet #lovedurham pic.twitter.com/Y2FsqwTAkd
— Indie Durham City (@IndieDurhamCity) December 7, 2020
Created by local couple Fiona and Chris Harker – who are also behind Beach Hut Seahouses and Acorn Outfitters in Jesmond – The Boathouse is a dinky little shop that packs a lot in, and one that we can’t wait to revisit when the doors reopen on 12 April.
One of The Boathouse’s specialties is its range of beautiful womenswear items, including gorgeous leather jackets, alongside plenty of Durham-themed items, such as mugs and hoodies, that make a perfect gift (or a well-earned post-lockdown treat for yourself).
When you visit the shop, you may well meet our cover star Georgina, who regularly works both there and at the Jesmond store – thank you, Georgina, for giving us the tour and agreeing to pose for our picture!
Like many Durham businesses, The Boathouse has found ways of continuing to serve customers even while the store itself has to be closed. The online store featuring favourite items from all the Harkers’ shops – at beachhutseahouses.co.uk – launched in February, or you can also click and collect by giving Fiona a call on 07817 044172.
Get involved in Indie Durham City
As we approach the unlocking of the city, remember that any independent Durham city centre business can access free marketing and mentoring support from the Indie Durham City project, thanks to funding from City of Durham Parish Council.
Just contact us via the online form, and you could yet be our next cover star!
Remember too, if you wish to follow The Boathouse by opening new premises in Durham, we can often help connect you with available properties, landlords and agents. Again, just get in touch, and we’ll see what we can do!