A popular Beaminster café has closed as part of a new business venture.

The owners of Tangerine Café and Gallery on North Street are shutting down their three-day-a-week café business and embarking on an exciting new endeavour - running themed restaurant nights.

Chris and Sue Sims have been successfully running the business for four and a half years, but due to a number of factors, including ‘the economy and a change of lifestyle,’ they have decided it is time for a change.

The venue will now open on select evenings for ‘themed nights’ including an Italian night and a Portuguese night.

Sue said: “Last year we found that our themed nights were particularly successful, and we have been all around the world with them.

“The daytime café has been a bit quiet, so we thought, why not become an events venue. We are still doing catering and some lunches and will also open for community groups to meet here like Dorset Start.”

She particularly enjoys experimenting with cooking, adding, ‘I am quite adventurous with the food.’

The pair agreed that times are tough for the hospitality industry at the moment.

Chris said: “It hasn’t been easy for hospitality businesses recently, after Covid – we have noticed a downturn in business. We think that people are going out less for teas and coffees and instead are saving up for a special night out.”

With Sue adding: “Opening for specific events means we have more time for family and other pursuits, yet we can offer some exciting and different meals and activities.

“We have built a good reputation, winning several awards along the way, and now wish to build on that.”

The venue will also offer occasional themed brunches, a space for private functions and parties, accommodation and activity mornings for preschool children.

The owners said: “We hope that people will find it fun and that it will be different for the town, the Italian is already fully booked.”