Sad news: Wimpy on Marlow High Street to close

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Very sad news for Marlow, in our opinion – The Wimpy on the High Street will be closing at the end of the year.

We have known about this for a while, but were keen to have a conversation with Wimpy  head office, to ensure the staff were aware before we splashed it everywhere. If you have not visited recently , I can tell you the staff in there are so friendly – many other places in town could learn about customer service from them!   The statement from Wimpy HQ is at the end of the article.

This is news we are genuinely sad to share. 

64 High Street is for sale…

The Wimpy’s lease has come to an end, and have decided it was too expensive to renew. The owners have put the building is up for sale, for offers in excess of £1.5m. The whole building is for sale – ie ground floor restaurant, and two storey residential flat above.

The sales details note that this is the first time the building has been on the market in 30 years, and makes much of its prime location next to the Ivy, and opposite Chequers.

It is described as a perfect “investment / development opportunity”, noting that although it is currently resisted for  use as a “restaurant/café” there would be potential to covert it to a shop.

Wimpy’s heritage

The very first ‘Wimpy Bar’ opened in 1954 in Coventry Street, London.  At the height of popularity there were over 500 Wimpys in the UK, but gradually the traditional sit-down restaurant versions like we have started to disappear, or turn into Burger Kings.

The Wimpy has been on Marlow High Street for many, many years. I remember enjoying going there as a child, I occasionally take my kids there, and I’m still fond of the odd half-pounder!

Over the years we have reported on Wimpy facts that might have surprised some – such as that they serve beer and wine, and have a decent little garden.

Any word from Wimpy HQ? Will they find another location?

You may not know this – Wimpy’s head office is actually in Marlow. As mentioned above, we were keen to speak to them once we found out about the sale.

A spokesman for Wimpy UK confirmed that the Wimpy restaurant in Marlow High Street will close at the end of the year, but says the hamburger chain hopes to reopen at a new location in the town before too long.

“We know that Wimpy Marlow has many fond memories for local families, some of whom went there as teenagers themselves and now bring their own children,” she said.

“The lease on the building has come to an end and, given that town centre rents have been escalating considerably over the last five years, we took the difficult decision to close the doors.

“We recognise this is very disappointing and would like to thank both our hard-working staff and also our loyal customers.

“We are very proud of Wimpy as a traditional British brand and, if we can find an alternative location at a more reasonable rent, then we would definitely consider bringing Wimpy back to Marlow. In the meantime, as part of our ongoing expansion programme, we are also actively looking for new franchisees and for other suitable premises in other towns in and around this area.”

The spokesman confirmed that all the staff based at Wimpy Marlow will be offered alternative employment in other Wimpy restaurants.

In summary then….

When we heard of the closure, we did wonder if plans were already afoot for another venue. This is a popular, integral part of Marlow life as far as we are concerned.  Maybe not all residents go there, but plenty do. Alas, it seems that Wimpy HQ can only consider something at a lower rent… and in Marlow, that’s a big ask. We hold up hope, and will keep you posted on any developments. For now – please do visit, and show your support for the Wimpy and its staff – if you are fans like us.  

9 thoughts on “Sad news: Wimpy on Marlow High Street to close”

  1. Feeling so sad, Wimpey was apart of Marlow and my teens, always went in fr a meal each time I was over, so very sorry that u will now be leaving us

  2. A sad day indeed. My boys love the garden and the cheese toasties. Let’s hope it doesn’t turn into another coffee shop or nail salon.

  3. Open the one back up in the Eden Centre, Wycombe … thats got to be a cheaper option ..nobody wants to see this traditional burger restaurant go! One of the best around !! And your right, the staff in Marlow are exceptional.

  4. I remember finding out the head office was in Marlow when I was on holiday in Cornwall and saw a sign hanging up in the restaurant showing the address – first thing I noticed was the postcode

  5. Can’t believe this is true, I was only there on 3rd Nov and have a delicious meal and all the staff were very friendly! I used to go to wimpys when I was a kid so when only found out there was one still in Marlow I was over like a shot and have kept coming back ever since. Please bring one back in Marlow or surrounding area preferably Burnham, I shall be very sad to see this restaurant close!

  6. Lets just hope Shanley doesn’t buy it – he has sadly got the monopoly on most of the High Street already.

  7. Really sad… a great place and I remember some fun times and laughs in there, back in the early 80’s when I were a lad. Wimpy was true Marlow !

  8. How sad to hear of the closure. The Wimpey has been part of the furniture in Marlow for so long! Having lived in Marlow since 1968 the children always got excited when we were taking them to the Wimpey. It will be sadly missed in the High Street.

  9. As a kid growing up in Marlow in the 70s, the Wimpy was a great place go. I have fond memories of Marlow High Street on a Saturday – it was a hub for meeting other friends with Saturday jobs. Since moving back to the area in 2006 we have enjoyed taking our kids there. So looking forward to a new one opening!

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Article author: Paul Merchant

About the author: Founded in its original version back in 2000 - yes the internet DID exist back then. Brought up in Marlow, went to school here, now has children at the same schools. Quite clearly loves all things Marlow - hence spending over 2 decades doing this!

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