Grangemouth may have just lost a popular cafe bakery but it will soon gain a convenience store when a vacant pub is refurbished and converted.
The sad news is The Portonian Bakery and Tearooms, in La Porte Precinct, has closed its doors for good, citing illness and rising rent as the main reason.
On a positive note the Bowhouse Hotel, which has been vacant for a number of years, has been purchased by Grangemouth’s Ali family and will be turned into a Nisa store and possibly other businesses.
Customers who turned up for a cake and a coffee at The Portonian today were greeted with a sign that stated: “It is with great sadness we have decided to close our shop. As many of you already know, this is partly due to ill health, added to this rising costs in rent, rates and other factors have made it extremely difficult to sustain the business.
“We are looking to open something on a smaller scale in the near future, doing our pies and filled rolls.”
So it was a bad day for Grangemouth town centre, which has seen a number of business shut up shop for good in recent times.
However, residents of the Bowhouse area of the town could not hide their excitement when they learned the vacant Bowhouse Hotel would be re-opening in the future to serve the community.
Ishy Ali, who owns the Costcutter GKR store in Loanhead Avenue, and his brother Jaz purchased the entire Bowhouse Hotel building four weeks ago and are now in the early stages of planning to convert the premises into a new convenience story.
Ishy said: “We have been in Grangemouth all our life and, although it all depends on planning, this shop will be opening there. There will also be other units there, but we don’t know what will go in them as yet.”