A new cafe in Gloucester Green in Oxford is attracting customers calling in for breakfast, lunch or afternoon tea.

The Spires Cafe has taken over the unit which was previously occupied by the games shop Thirsty Meeples, which has now moved to a different unit a short distance away.

After taking over the lease in November, owner Fitim Pira spent some time converting the unit into a cafe and then opened in February.

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He and his partner Sandra and their small team of staff have been picking up new customers ever since at the cafe, which is open seven days a week from 8am to 8pm.

Mr Pira, who is originally from Albania, is hopeful that he will be able to get a licence to serve alcohol and stay open later, so that he can add a dinner option to the menu.

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He said: “I’ve worked in cocktail bars but I have been in the same industry for years, working in cafes and serving food.

“Our cooked breakfast costs £8.25 and it’s a very big plate of food so we think that’s competitive when it comes to the pricing.

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“We try to source our ingredients locally as much as we can, with vegetables coming from the Covered Market and Millets Farm.

“As well as breakfast we serve hot dishes at lunchtime and it’s a varied global menu - there’s Asian and Italian dishes and we also do pizzas.

“I do some of the cooking and the chef is my partner Sandra.”

Mr Pira said competition was tough, as there are so many other eateries nearby but the cafe is attracting regular customers and new customers all the time.

He added: “Families like coming to Gloucester Green because they know they can get away from the traffic with their children and just relax.

“The markets are now running four days a week here and that attracts a lot of people.

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“We are doing afternoon tea with scones and that is very popular at the moment.”

Mr Pira said he has taken out a lease for a number of years with the owners of Gloucester Green and is looking forward to building his new business.

He added: “We have rent to pay and business rates and I think with the right support we could invest more in the business.

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“Gloucester Green is a good place right now - when people see crowds that is where they want to go too.

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“A lot of people are coming in for coffee, snacks and cakes - it’s a good atmosphere in the afternoon and we are hoping to stay open later if we are able to.”

Mr Pira added that the unit now occupied by The Spires Cafe remained empty after Thirsty Meeples moved units in 2020.

Gloucester Green market is run by LSD Promotions on behalf of the city council and currently runs four days a week, Wednesday to Saturday.

As well as hot food stalls, there are stalls selling clothes, antiques, bric-a-brac, books and vinyl.

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This story was written by Andy Ffrench, he joined the team more than 20 years ago and now covers community news across Oxfordshire.

Get in touch with him by emailing: Andy.ffrench@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter @OxMailAndyF