'We lost loads of money': Businesses speak out after Friar Street fire

Friar Street fire <i>(Image: Newsquest)</i>
Friar Street fire (Image: Newsquest)

Businesses in Reading are still facing difficulties as a fire on Friday (May 26) has meant many lost out on trade over the bank holiday after the road was closed off.

The fire, which started on Friday afternoon in Friar Street, saw police close the road off from the public due to an "unsafe structure", while dozens of firefighters tackled the blaze into the weekend.

As a result, several businesses have been forced to remain closed today (May 29) and it is unknown when they will be able to reopen.

Mcdonald's, which is situated just two doors down from where the blaze originated has put on its page that they are "closed for renovation". It is stated that renovations are to begin on May 27 - the day after the fire - and last until June 4.

CMart has also closed for the foreseeable future, stating: "Sorry! We are under maintenance until further notice."

While CEX has announced they are "temporarily closed".

However, a few businesses have been able to reopen.

Eclectic Games opened for business on Sunday, May 28. In the run-up to reopening, the store warned the public: “The shop floor smells of smoke, like a back garden when your neighbour has a bonfire. The games rooms upstairs do not. We will do what we can to get rid of the odour downstairs today (May 27), and we will be open as normal for business tomorrow (May 28), 10am."

One store in particular, which reopened today (May 29) said they "lost loads of money" due to the fire.

Timpson were impacted by the road closure when Friar Street and surrounding areas were shut to the public. Re-opening today (May 29) manager of Timspons Friar Street store, Sam Wood, said: "We had to shut down on Saturday - we couldn't open. But today we are open as usual. Saturday we were closed all day and lost loads of money. We missed out on hundreds of pounds."

Meanwhile Eyesite Reading said: "We were fortunate to be able to reopen on Saturday afternoon and were able to continue some of our afternoon eye exam clinic.

"We’re closed for the bank holiday, but open again Tuesday as normal."