The end of an era for Motherwell institution

Civic Cafe in Motherwell
Civic Cafe in Motherwell

A Motherwell institution is set to close its doors before the end of the year after six decades of keeping the town refreshed.

The lease on the Civic Cafe in Civic Square will end on December 27 and current owners May Murray and Pauline Alexander have decided to call it a day.

May and Pauline took over 11 years ago, having worked for the previous owner.

The cafe has been up for sale all year, but with no buyer on the horizon and the terms of the lease set to increase for next year the two woman are moving on to the next stage of their lives.

May said: “It got to a point we just had to ask ourselves if it was viable to run the cafe for another year.

“There has been a cafe here for around 60 years, but it’s been a struggle for a while as there just isn’t the same passing traffic since the court shut and the council moved so many of its workers.

“There is a lot of work needing done to the building and facing an increase in our lease we decided it was the right time to go and do something else.

“The lease is officially up on December 27, but if we both get jobs it could close before then, after 11 years its not the way you want to end, but in a way it’ll be something of a relief.”

May says she now fears for the area around Windmillhill Street as another business is set to close.

She said: “You look at the number of businesses which have closed recently around Civic Square and Windmillhill Street and it’s sad.

“Unless there is real action this part of Motherwell is going to turn into a ghost town, but I don’t see where that action is going to come from.”