Cornish pasties on their way

86 High Street to let

Four months after the closure of Rye Shoes at 86 High Street, a new prospective tenant is preparing to take on the premises, reportedly to open a Cornish pasty restaurant. The transaction is not yet completed and is dependent upon planning permission being granted for change of business use class.

An application has been submitted to Rother District Council, but not yet registered for the public list, it is understood. Dyer and Hobbis of Hastings and Phillips and Stubbs of Rye are the joint commercial letting agents.

Edward Gailey of Phillips and Stubbs noted that the former Rye Shoes premises with Edinburgh Woollens next door together currently constitute a large gap in the retail offering of Rye High Street. It was good news that a new use might be found for number 86, but with Edinburgh Woollens in administration there was no sign of movement towards a new occupancy there.

The two adjacent premises are located on what the estate agents term the A route which has the highest footfall and commands the higher commercial rentals. The A route for Rye runs from Station Approach up Market Road, along the High Street and up Lion Street to St Mary’s church.

Dyer and Hobbis have been requested to effect an introduction to the new tenants so that they may be welcomed to the town.

Image Credits: Kenneth Bird .


  1. Great news. When so many businesses are going to the wall, it’s heartening to know that there is faith that things will thrive again. Let’s hope they get approval for the change of use. I think this will be an interesting and slightly alternative food establishment that can only be good for Rye.

  2. I agree with Shaun, it takes a certain business that can take on a large shop and it is positive that some businesses are willing to invest their money in Rye! Also there is nothing more depressing for a small town than empty shops, especially large ones, lets get next door let too!

  3. If it’s true that a Cafe Nero is also taking up residency next door at the Edinburgh Woollen Mill (2 floors!) this will be the first shops tourists will see as they come up Market Street from the train. Let alone taking up custom from our special cafes. Is there anything we can do? Petitions or emailing councillors?

    • Ugh, a Cafe Nero or any other boring coffee chain would be horrible. I do not mind an independent coffee shop at all. But must our high street end up looking like everyone else’s ? We must fight to remain as unique as possible. However, should I presume the pasty shop is The West Cornwall Pasty Co who are also a chain ?

  4. Great news that Rye Shoes has been let, too many empty shops already in Rye. No mean achievement in these times, well done to all involved!

  5. Jess the first coffee shop tourists will see is jempsons, Its time people stopped knocking businesses that wish to relocate to town and started encouraging them,others will survive if they are competitive, and competition is healthy for locals and tourists alike.

  6. Jess, the same thing happened in Headcorn when Costa Coffee rolled up. There was the typical knee jerk reaction and protest which, as usual, was completely unfounded. It didn’t have a substantial effect on other trades and actually employed local youngsters, which must be a good thing.

    Bear in mind too, signs are that many more people will be more inclined to take holidays at home in the future, I’m sure there’ll be plenty of trade to share around for all concerned!

  7. Have to agree with Jess. I for one would hate to see Cafe Nero (if true) in Rye.
    Rye is unique and very special because it doesn’t have the big names here.
    I fear our little coffee shops wouldn’t survive because they won’t be able to compete with the big boys.

  8. Since few people have heard of Dyer and Hobbis, it seems very strange that this mysterious Hastings-based outfit is being ‘requested to effect an introduction to the new tenants so that they may be welcomed to the town’. I would have thought their co-agency, Phillips & Stubbs, would have been better placed to introduce the pasty chain store to town!

    • Dyer and Hobbis have been around for years. I dealt with them 10 years ago now, they deal in commercial property. I’m not sure there is anything mysterious about a Bona fide company .

  9. Frequent visitor to Rye over many years,part of the charm is lack of ‘high Street brands’,accepted it’s difficult for smaller shops to make ends meet these days,would creating smaller spaces instead including Edinburgh woollen mills not be more in keeping with the area?

  10. We have had High Street Brands in our High Street for years that’s not an uncommon sight not unless you haven’t memorised your second home postcode yet.
    I’m not entirely sure we need a Pasty Shop and yet another Coffee Shop however they must of done the homework and worked out it will pay, I’m not sure why other coffee shops and bakeries would be worried, people vote with their feet and I’m sure if they are doing it right it won’t have any impact on the Business. I’ve never seen these High Street Brands flog off the Pasty’s and Coffee cheap to put people out of Business they sell a premium product which coffee is, if they fail the shops will no doubt change hands. Rye is a real Town with real people (most of the time)

  11. I’m not sure what can be done to stop it, but do we really need a plastic coffee shop and a pasty shop, keep things independent and interesting, otherwise why would you visit Rye?

    • Years ago there were many multinationals on the High Street – Liptons, International Stores, Boots, Freeman Hardy and Willis to name just a few, you could buy everything you needed in Rye.
      Visitors come to Rye for the history, the medieval buildings, the cobbled streets and the unique ambience of the town, they are unlikely to stay away because of particular shops in the High Street

  12. Peter Davenport, people visit Rye for the history and beauty of the town, and if people wish to invest their business here what is wrong with that, a mixture of shops high street brands and Independent shops,is the norm in most towns,or would you prefer to see the front of the shops boarded up.

  13. John Tolhurst is right (and displaying a much more open-minded attitude about change in the town then he usually does – bravo).

    If the businesses owned by “locals” in the town can’t compete with chains then they can’t be doing a very good job. I know I won’t stop buying coffee from – to name the two best cafes in town – the Fig and the White House just because a Cafe Nero opens. However it will reliably fill a massive gap in our High Street and make the place look a lot more lived in.

    West Cornwall Pasty company seems an odd fit, to be honest, being more a railway station sort of set up. However if they’re willing to invest and create jobs here, that’s great.

  14. The prospective new shop is part of the Cornish Bakery not the West Cornwall Pasty Co. The Cornish Bakery, whose nearest branch is in George Street, Hastings, sells all sorts of savoury bakes and puddings, quiches, torsades, baguettes and brownies as well as pasties – see their website for more details.

    • That’s very positive news to hear. I don’t know The Cornish Bakery, but after looking at their website they are far more welcome than the West Cornwall Pasty Co, who despite their name, seem to mostly now sell pizza. I hope The Cornish Bakery turn out to be as tempting as the fare on their site. Though I notice they also sell coffee, so surely there’s no need for a Costa Coffee too ? At this rate the High Street will be nothing but a river of a coffee and there will be too many options which will put someone else out of business.

      • Agreed. Please, no charity shops on the high street. There is a need for them for some people, but not in prominent spots. They only pull down the appearance of an area. And they attract people who think they are a dumping ground. Right now on the High Street there’s a charity shop where a bright spark has dumped their plastic Xmas tree and some other rubbish in the doorway.

  15. Well Peter Davenport you do not have to buy from them, but don’t stop others from having choice,to buy what they wish in this town, unhealthy or not that is up to the Individual to make up their minds, and competition is healthy for all.

  16. Why do charity shops ‘pull down the appearance of an area’? I adore charity shops! I think they look lovely. Cheap re-used clothes, money going to a good cause, pleasant book browsing opportunities, friendly staff, jigsaws, more jigsaws, ethical Christmas cards, sustainable shopping etc. etc. I judge a town on the quality of it’s charity shops. I understand that a town needs quality, viable and preferably local and independent shops, but I wouldn’t visit a town without any charity shops. Better a charity shop than an empty shop, for sure. I really hope they will return to Rye after the pandemic. Charities will need every opportunity to recover from this very difficult time.

    • That’s fine if you adore charity shops. But I cannot fathom how someone can think they “look lovely”. Many would agree that going to a high street full of charity shops was a clear sign the area was in decline. I fully accept there’s a need for charity shops for some people, and others enjoy rummaging around in them, but that does not mean they need to be in prominent positions on a high street, especially on historic streets in Rye. For example, Rope Walk really needs an injection of life. That could be a rather fantastic centre for charity shops, bric-a-brac and antique markets. If it focussed on being such a place, I bet people would travel from all over and spend a good couple of hours in there. It could rival somewhere like The Malthouse Arcade in Hythe.

    • It takes less than a minute via Google to discover that there isn’t and never has been a ‘The Cornish Bakery’ shop in Devizes. A Devizes branch of Warrens Bakery, which sold pasties, is now closed as have the other three in Trowbridge, Melksham and Chippenham, which were all owned by a single franchisee.
      As has been detailed a week ago in the stream above, the company coming to Rye is The Cornish Bakery and is wholly different business from the failed Devizes enterprise which ‘Reggie’ has strangely entered into the stream.
      Hopefully, The Cornish Bakery will not suffer any reputational damage from the link that has been erroneously made to an entirely different company, with a different offering, based in a different part of the country!
      Incidentally, Devizes still has a branch of the rather splendid Reeves the Baker – as a schoolkid in Salisbury on a cold winter’s evening stuck in town after rugby training, having missed the 4pm bus, waiting for the 5.30pm bus home to my village, was often made bearable by a juicy, sweet lardy cake, oozing succulent pork fat! Not to my taste these days, but a cornish pasty…? Now you’re talking!

  17. It’s funny because some of the more interesting and useful businesses are now in Cinque Port St rather than the High St. plus a big up to Andy at Rye hire.

  18. I am very angry to see a Cafe Nero arriving in Rye. I dont believe this premises was ever offered to the open market, there are may shops or sevices that could serve the population of Rye, the very last thing Rye needs is a multi national competitor to the independent coffee shops in the town, especially in the current climate. Who ever allowed this to happen is very short sighted could I even say mean and guess can remove Rye’s boast of a high street of independent shops and cafes.

  19. Quite agree Carolyn
    What another coffee shop just what we want with a quick count up that makes about 35 places in Rye you can go for coffee I suppose one more won’t matter,

  20. I agree with Jess. Well I would wouldn’t I !
    From the iconic entrance through The Landgate on to a pretty, intriguing and so far unusual high street up towards the cobbled and medieval pinnacle of St Mary’s spire, Rye is a special place. Also, from the preservation and enhancement of The Landgate though to the expressive , delightful and amazing selection of shops and eateries which so entertain a vast number of our visitors.
    Rye must not be a shrine but ‘thems what decide’ to do with these aspects of our Town should question an attitude of dumbing down with ordinary—ness. At the risk of destroying Rye’s value.


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