RETAILER Carl Mitchell has been given food for thought on how to present his new menswear shop as he prepares to open in a Tyneside town.
Carl had taken over empty premises in Park View in Whitley Bay and hired builders to start stripping back the property, whose last use was as the offices of a funeral business.
He had a vision of how his Mitchell’s Menswear outlet would look, but there are now a few new ideas in the pot after what the builders discovered as they took down layers of plasterboard.
They uncovered two walls of 1,400 blue and white Minton tiles. Pasted to one of the walls was a hand written price list of cuts of meat from the days when a leg of lamb cost 5s 6d.
Also revealed was a pressed metal ceiling with embossed decoration and hooks that would have supported a rail for the hanging of meat joints.
Carl and wife Lisa, who run Escape Boutique also in Park View, embarked on research and found that the premises had been a butcher’s shop from 1901 to 1946, owned by A Dotchin. Carl said: “Following the discoveries we’ve done a bit of digging, and it’s fantastic to find that a Whitley Bay-based family called Dotchin used to own the site and apparently had four shops in the town.
“It would be great to know if any relatives are still living locally and have any memories to share.
“We have been told that after it closed as a butcher’s shop it became a fishmonger’s. We had plans for a certain look for the shop, but when the builders uncovered the original features they were a pleasant surprise and immediately attracted a lot of attention.
“We have now had a re-think about the shop and it will incorporate some of the features into a new design, which will be unveiled when the shop opens at the end of February or beginning of March.”
Carl is deciding how much of the old look will be on show, but everything will be preserved.
“We had a suggestion that we should change the shop’s name to From Chops to Tops but it will stay as Mitchell’s Menswear,” said Carl.