Month: December 2014

AMERICAN DINER WITH MODERN TWIST OPENS IN RED LION YARD

The East Coast Diner & Bar has opened its doors in the historic Red Lion Yard, in the heart of Colchester. This is the second branch of the restaurant. Owned and operated by directors Lex Quinn and Julie Officer, the duo opened their first diner in Woodbridge in January 2013.

 

Offering a modern take on the classic American styled dining concept, by day the 810 sq ft Colchester East Coast Diner is perfect for breakfast, coffee and donut or a after school milkshake. In the evening a warm and welcoming atmosphere makes it the perfect meeting place for friends and couples wanting to enjoy a meal, freshly made cocktails and craft beers. It’s also great for long Sunday brunches.

 

The food served at the East Coast Diner can best be described as gourmet fast food and its trademark “Big Apple Hotdog” has been described as the best in Britain by The Times renowned columnist and restaurant critic Giles Coren.

 

The restaurant interior fuses quirky American with the historic features of a 600 year old, Grade I listed building. Art by London Street artist Tom Blackmore creates a contemporary feel and guests can choose to dine at higher bar tables or at more traditional ones. One American padded booth is also available.

 

Lex Quinn Owner and Director said: “We are very pleased with opening our second branch here in Colchester. Although it’s Britain’s oldest recorded town it feels very young in spirit. The town is both dynamic and vibrant and offers great shopping which is why we chose the location. We also felt that the recently refurbished Red Lion Yard with all quirky independent stores offered the perfect location for our diner.”

 

Louise Jensen Deputy Centre Manager of Lion Walk and Red Lion Yard said: “The East Coast Diner complements our tenant mix perfectly in Red Lion Yard and we are very excited about having a restaurant at the centre. Since we completed the refurbishment of the Yard in July (2014), we are now almost fully let and shoppers can enjoy a truly unique mix of independent retailers here and now also stop for a meal.”

 

ENDS

ENTERPRISE IN EDUCATION PARTNERSHIP CELEBRATES SUCCESS OF “COLCHESTER INTO WORK” PROGRAMME

The Enterprise in Education Partnership celebrated the success of its Colchester Into Work Programme yesterday (16 December) by inviting sponsors to attend the Celebration of Achievements Ceremony at Colchester Castle.

 

The eight-week programme, which sets out to help job seekers to build confidence and necessary skills to move closer to employment, was initially launched in October 2014. On this occasion the initiative aimed to provide support for single mothers. The Enterprise in Education team has worked in close collaboration with local businesses and organisations, including Lion Walk, Culver Square, Colchester Borough Council, Williams & Griffin and Debenhams, which have all contributed to the successful outcome of the initiative. The team behind the Colchester Into Work programme operates from offices in Red Lion Yard next to Lion Walk shopping centre where several of the activities take place.

 

A total of 18 participants of the Colchester Into Work Programme have successfully completed either a work placement at a retail store in the town or undertaken voluntary work in the community as well as taking part in weekly training to improve IT skills, interview and CV writing techniques and develop team building skills.

Louise Jensen Deputy Centre Manager at Lion Walk and Red Lion Yard, said: “We are very pleased with the opportunity to be involved with the Colchester Into Work Programme and to give young people a chance to develop those essential skills necessary to have when working in a retail environment. The programme has really been mutually beneficial to jobseekers and businesses alike and it’s encouraging to hear that several young people have found a job as a result of the programme.”

Jenny Healy from The Enterprise in Education Partnership said: “This bespoke employability programme has been a huge success due to a combination of positive factors: the willing participants, the motivational guest speakers, and the incredible support from local Business Partners and large Corporates, which have combined to re-energise, re-focus and re-engage these single parents. It has been our privilege to work with such inspiring women who are ready to return to the work force better prepared and with a sense of self-worth and great confidence.”

 

 

FASHION EDITOR BRINGS ELEGANT SHOPPING EXPERIENCE TO RED LION YARD

The Fashion Editor, a new boutique offering the latest fashion and accessories for women of all ages, has opened in the historic Red Lion Yard in the heart of Colchester. The shop offers an elegant shopping experience, and stocks clothes, bags and jewellery for sophisticated women looking for reasonably priced fashion. Brands include Y.A.S, Jovonna and Ichi, amongst others.

 

The 336 sq ft boutique’s interior is minimalistic, with a white décor and chrome details throughout, but still offers a luxuriously warm welcoming atmosphere.

 

Fashion Editor is founded and owned by Jennifer Lock, a former fashion journalist with over 15 years of experience writing for the UK’s biggest fashion magazines. She regularly appeared on GMTV and radio to discuss women’s style issues. With her in-depth understanding of the industry, Lock felt compelled to set up her own business.

 

Lock choose Red Lion Yard for her first store, but is planning to open an additional five within a ten year period in the South East, North Essex and Cambridgeshire.

 

Commenting on the store, Lock said: “I’m excited about opening my first store here in Colchester. After having spent my whole career in London, leading a hectic city life, setting up a business in Colchester felt completely right. The town has all the vital ingredients for setting up a business, it’s vibrant and dynamic but idyllic at the same time and Red Lion Yard’s boutique feel made it perfect for the Fashion Editor.”

 

SHOPPERS FLOCK TO LION WALK AND RED LION YARD’S SPECTACULAR LIGHT SWITCH ON

Colchester’s Lion Walk Shopping Centre and Red Lion Yard welcomed the festive season on Sunday (30 November 2014) with a day of family entertainment, a visit from Santa to switch on its Christmas lights. The annual light switch on event, which attracted 2,500 people, ended with the spectacular traditional firework show.

 

This year, Lion Walk and Red Lion Yard’s Christmas lights were switched on by Colchester United’s goalkeeper Sam Walker, its fluffy mascot Eddie the Eagle and Santa himself. Colchester United has recently opened a pop-up shop in Red Lion Yard that will stay open until end of January.

 

While tracking down the perfect gifts among Lion Walk’s big brand stores and Red Lion Yard’s quirky independents, shoppers enjoyed an afternoon of festive entertainment from local groups including the 40s harmony group Fox, Wiggle and Sass, The Valentine School of Dance, The Military Wives, Colchester Operatic Society and Theatricool.

 

Lion Walk and Red Lion Yard were buzzing with people from noon to the light switch on at 4.30pm and retailers across the centre have reported a successful day of trading. Costa Coffee doubled its sales compared to a normal Sunday. BHS with its three-day Black Friday event reported strong sales on the day along with Body Shop and New Look.

 

The Bavarian Christmas market, which is in Lion Walk until 30 December, also proved to be a huge success among shoppers wanting something warm to eat and drink on the day while temperatures were dropping.

 

Louise Jensen Deputy Centre Manager said: “We are very pleased with the light switch on, the Centre couldn’t have been busier. I think the combination of our big brand stores and the independent retailers, makes us such a great place for Christmas shopping. Our annual firework show is always popular and this year we had a great line up of acts to create a fun festive atmosphere.”

 

THE FUN DOESN’T STOP HERE – to get everyone in the Christmas spirit Lion Walk and Red Lion Yard are also putting on a busy programme of FREE festive family fun and entertainment every Saturday and every Wednesday evening, when the shops stay open to 9pm, in the run up to Christmas.

 

Award winning choir Funky Voices will put on a show of upbeat, foot tapping, festive songs for Wednesday’s late night shopping on 10 December to support the Rotary Club’s Christmas collection. Colchester District Pipes & Drums will provide further support to the collection on Wednesday night on 17 December.

On Saturday 13 December Colchester Operatic Society and Colchester Theatretrain will be raising the Christmas spirit in the centre.

For the final Saturday of festive entertainment (20 December) Mother Christmas makes a stop at Lion Walk and Red Lion Yard before continuing her journey back to the North Pole. She will make sure that any final Christmas wishes are reported back to Santa. Plus a brass jazz quartet will be playing festive tunes during the day.

ENDS