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.
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.