The Medicine Tap closes for good 'due to town centre changes and post-Covid habits'

Date published: 08 January 2024

The Medicine Tap in Rochdale town centre will not be reopening after closing for Christmas and New Year.

The venue, which opened in 2018 in the Grade-II listed former Post Office on the Esplanade, was set to reopen after the festive season on 10 January.

However, the Medicine Tap will not reopen, citing the impact of the Town Hall Square redevelopment work, closure of the Esplanade and the town hall car park, and “post-covid going out habits” as “taking its toll” on the popular restaurant.

Owner Caroline Norton said she was "heartbroken" at the decision.

She said: “There has been a distinct lack of footfall to the area around us and the square has become deserted with no passing custom.

“Along with other local establishments, we have seen our trade dwindle significantly, inevitably leading to financial deficit. Add the post-covid changes in ‘going out’ habits and we’ve had a huge struggle on our hands.

“We desperately wanted to ‘hang on’ until the re-opening of the town hall but that has proved an unrealistic dream for us. Our staff and customers have always been our priority; therefore, it would be unfair to continue.

“We stand by our business model: a smart, quirky, immaculate venue, beautifully restored with a nod to its great heritage. An incredible offering of high-quality, locally sourced food and fabulous drinks. Throw the best chefs in the borough and committed staff in the mix, and we were a place of magic.”


No.2 The Esplanade
The Medicine Tap will not reopen


Caroline continued: “From super functions to taster nights to Christmas parties to so many children’s events, afternoon teas to luxury dining to fabulous cocktail creations, we have loved being part of the community and showcasing The Tap as one of the finest places to be.

“[It was] Simply a case of right place, wrong location. We truly gave it our absolute best. In a different timeline, who knows what greatness and longevity we could have achieved?

“We certainly won’t look back with grief or regret. Instead, we step away with immense pride and wonder at what we created and the incredible reputation we built over the past six years.

“We dared to dream and we took the chance. We love Rochdale and it has been a privilege to open the big black doors of the old Post Office building to you every day. We would like to share our appreciation and gratitude to our amazing staff, great suppliers and our wonderful customers.”

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