Bispham Kitchen buys Harts Amusements as owners retire after 60 years - and they have exciting new plans

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
A popular family-run attraction in Bispham has been bought by a well-known business - and they have exciting plans for the site.

Bispham Kitchen on Red Bank Road have announced that they are the new owners of Harts Amusements on Queen's Promenade.

It comes after the previous owners of the site confirmed they were retiring on January 3, 2024 after 60 years of trading.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Steve Hoddy, Managing Director of Bispham and Cleveleys Kitchens Ltd, has confirmed the arcade will reopen but with some changes.

Steve Hoddy, Managing Director of Bispham and Cleveleys Kitchens LtdSteve Hoddy, Managing Director of Bispham and Cleveleys Kitchens Ltd
Steve Hoddy, Managing Director of Bispham and Cleveleys Kitchens Ltd | National World

"As the new owners of the site, it is our intention to retain much of the tradition that Hart's worked so hard to establish and preserve, within a more up-to-date concept," he said.

"Our present intention is to keep a family-oriented amusement arcade on the Promenade frontage of the site, though on a slightly smaller scale. 

"We also hope to build a fast food stand serving hot dogs, burgers, candy floss and donuts in the main building."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Steve also wants to create a single large retail outlet on Red Bank Road where three shops used to be.

He hopes the unit will become a pharmacy to help the local community following the closure of nearby chemist's in the area.

Harts Amusements was sold after 60 years of trading (Credit: Google)Harts Amusements was sold after 60 years of trading (Credit: Google)
Harts Amusements was sold after 60 years of trading (Credit: Google) | Google

Manfredi’s ice cream shop will remain as it is and Queens Mansions holiday apartments have been consulted and are "fully on board" with the plans.  Steve added: "With over a century of trading between them under the same ownership, Bispham Kitchen (46 years) and Harts Amusements (60 years) have stood out as twin pillars of stability at the Promenade end of Red Bank Road. 

"Red Bank Road used to be a focal point for community shopping in the 70s and early 80s, with its butchers, wet fish shop, greengrocers and newsagents. 

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"However, since the arrival of Sainsbury’s in 1984, most of the trades became no longer viable because they could not compete with the supermarket. 

"Bispham Kitchen and Hart’s, however, have stood the test of time, and both have expanded and moved from strength to strength in the meantime." Plans for the site are currently being drawn up by an architect and planning permission is being sought.

All going well, Steve hopes the revamped site will reopen in June or July, 2024.

Mitchell Hart, the previous owner of Harts Amusements, said he was "overwhelmed" by the support and kind words that he had received from customersMitchell Hart, the previous owner of Harts Amusements, said he was "overwhelmed" by the support and kind words that he had received from customers
Mitchell Hart, the previous owner of Harts Amusements, said he was "overwhelmed" by the support and kind words that he had received from customers | Contributed

"Bispham Kitchen and Hart's have fed from each other, if you will," Steve said.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"When a family turns up the parents go to the arcade and the parents come for a meal, and they're right next door to each other, so it's holding people in the area.

"So I think it is important for Bispham Kitchen that the arcade remains and vice versa as well."

After it was announced the site would change ownership, customers shared fond memories and thanked the "wonderful family" for hours of fun.

Mitchell Hart told the Gazette: "We have been overwhelmed by the support and kind words that we have received from customers.

"Without them we wouldn't have had a running business. 

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

People from all over the country have contacted us, sending in pictures which were lovely to see, memories that we will treasure.

" We thank you all for supporting us over the last 60 years, it has been a pleasure."

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.