A BAR and cafe hoping to catch passing trade from train passengers is set to open in Frideswide Square.

The so-called 'West End' of Oxford city centre, which has seen a number of shop closures in recent years, could be regenerated with the opening of a new business called Platform 5.

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It would replace the current cafe on the ground floor of the Royal Oxford Hotel, next to the new Sainsbury's.

The current premises, called Royal Cafe, mainly serves breakfasts to hotel guests and has now been taken over by a private company.

Oxford Mail:

The current cafe

A planning application for the changes states: "Platform 5 Café & Bar is a business start-up with a plan to grow and flourish in the location.

"The company’s branding is deeply connected with the location and pays homage to the history and heritage of the site and its vicinity – the West End area of Oxford.

"It aims to prepare and serve variety of fresh produce and beverages to railway commuters, hotel guests, students and local business attendants."

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The plans have been lodged with Oxford City Council and the applicant was named as Anna Rozbicka of Anando Ltd, based in Botley.

Proposed opening hours were not specified, but the document did state that the signage aimed to 'capture attention of passers-by during the day and night'.

The application seeks permission to relocate the cafe's entrance from the existing one on Park End Street, to a more prominent position next to Sainsbury's.

It also outlines plans to create an outdoor seating area and install three 'elegant' illuminated signs outside, as well as window boxes with flowers.

Oxford Mail:

The seating would continue around the corner. Drawing: MarbleAir/ Oxford City Council

The document adds: "The proposed external seating with potted plants along the frontage will soften the rough and less friendly look of the elevation, attracting people to stay and meet.

"Seating will be retractable tables and chairs arranged along the frontage."

The outdoor area was described as 'an ideal location for commuters waiting for their train to arrive'.

The area has seen several businesses come and go in the past few years.

In 2018, Bamboo Korean restaurant disappeared from its spot beneath the Royal Oxford Hotel.

It was replaced by a Sainsbury's Local store, which opened in November.

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Traders told the Oxford Mail they were hit badly during the lengthy works to redevelop the road layout at Frideswide, which spanned from February until December in 2015.

Longstanding Headington cafe La Croissanterie closed its Park End Street branch thereafter, and the unit still stands empty next to the popular Dosa Park South Indian restaurant.

Kwik Fit vacated a large unit in Park End Street in 2018, and a huge Office Outlet next door closed last year.

However, the planning application for the new cafe described the location as a 'busy developing commercial environment' with 'significant opportunities' for businesses.

It continues: "These alterations are essential to the operations and prosperity of this young creative business venture, which is trying to get noticed in the vibrant environment of the city scape."

Oxford City Council is due to decide on the plans by Monday, March 30.

To view them or comment, search oxford.gov.uk for '20/00278/FUL'.