A HARRODS-inspired delicatessen has rebranded as a café and bar after trading difficulties forced a “rethink”.

Nicholas James Delicatessen in Station Road, Ashley Cross, closed in March for two months to allow for refurbishment works amid struggles to maintain the solely deli business model.

While maintaining elements of the deli offering, Nicholas James is now operating as a café by day and bar by night – hosting numerous food, drink and music style summer events.

Opened in August 2021, Nicholas James replaced the long-standing Isabel’s Restaurant and was inspired by the likes of Harrods and Selfridges.

Bournemouth Echo: Nicholas James Delicatessen in Station Road, Ashley CrossNicholas James Delicatessen in Station Road, Ashley Cross

“It’s the same brand, just a different concept”, marketing consultant Sarah Larkin told the Echo.

“As a deli it was proving hard to maintain the fresh stock and a lot of it ended up becoming waste – which was not good for environment or the owners.

“They decided to close it for a bit, had a big rethink and decided to reopen as a café bar, but still with parts of the deli that customers enjoyed.”

The site reopened in May having undergone work to its interior, which included the installation of a customer toilet, and exterior.

Sarah added: “A lot of people have come in confused as it isn’t the same as before, but they soon love the concept of a café and bar. It’s looking really lovely in there.

Bournemouth Echo: Customers outside Nicholas James café and bar in Ashley CrossCustomers outside Nicholas James café and bar in Ashley Cross (Image: Nicholas James)

“We just want to spread the word that people who enjoyed the deli can still come in and enjoy what we offer as we’re still selling lots of the same products as before, it’s just a bit different.”

Sarah also said the new concept was proving popular with local businesses for after-work drinks.

Nicholas James now serves paninis, coffees, weekend brunch, cocktails, wines, as well as cheese charcuterie boards. Customers can also take advantage of an outside seating area.

They are open from 11am to 11pm Tuesday to Friday, 9am to 11pm on Saturdays, and 9am to 4pm on Sundays.

Visit Nicholas James on Facebook or call 01202 718803 for more information.