Monday, June 20, 2022

News: Over The Rainbow opens in Rotherham town centre

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"Toto, I have a feeling we're not in Rotherham anymore."

Bubble teas and macarons are some of the unique offerings at a new technicolour café bar that is helping to breathe new life into Rotherham's historic High Street.

Proving that the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true, Over The Rainbow is a new venture from the entrepreneurial wife and husband team behind Yella Brick Road (and Things That Boys Like) - the mainstay retail emporium embracing fun fashion and pop culture that has seen it all since opening in Rotherham 13 years ago.

Next to their shop on the High Street, Over The Rainbow has recently opened serving drinks and food, with alcohol to follow (think theatrical cocktails...). On the menu are hot drinks, American sodas, pancake breakfasts, cakes, macarons, sandwiches and salads. And bubble tea, which continues to have a cult following with its wacky combinations of flavours and textures.

The venue has an amazing look, complete with emerald green tables and a secret garden out the back that, like the George Wright nearby, makes it feel like you are no longer in Rotherham town centre. If you've visited the quirky retail outlet, or met the owners, then you may have some idea of the look they are going for.

Chris Paston is the owner of Over The Rainbow with wife, Dannii. Chris said: "We've had our eye on the unit and have been tempted before. When the Viking-themed bar didn't go ahead, we went for it.

"We have bubble tea everytime we visit Thailand on buying trips for Yella Brick Road, and we've witnessed the queues at bubble tea places like in Meadowhall. We've only just opened but are getting people visit us especially for bubble tea."

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The shop and the café are certainly creating a destination in the town centre.

Chris adds: "You have to be a destination. Retail is tricky, especially in town centres. Big players don't want to be in town centres anymore. But that's everywhere, not just Rotherham."

On the perception of the place, Paston said: "We do have people saying to us: "What are you doing in Rotherham? You should be in Sheffield"" but spoke highly of the landlord, Chris Hamby, who stepped in to save the heritage buildings on the High Street and has supported new traders.

Paston also spoke about other places in town who have welcomed another new venue and offered their support. He said: "People understand that if you support others, you get a thriving town centre. We have a little niche, something different, and we are looking to co-exist and thrive."

Yella Brick Road has built up its brand but there has been times when it has been close to shuttering its bricks and mortar stores. Online sales have exploded on the back of on-trend items like dungarees from Run & Fly and brands like Dangerfield. Online helped to keep things going during the COVID pandemic.

The store remains, like a colourful beacon of positivity. And now next door, a bright future for Over The Rainbow includes extending opening hours, utilising the upstairs space for events and groups, outdoor film screenings, and cocktail making classes.

Over The Rainbow Facebook page

Images: Over The Rainbow / Facebook

2 comments:

Anonymous,  June 20, 2022 at 2:09 PM  

Brilliant. Some positive news. It now needs us, the people of Rotherham to support it.

Martyn Benson,  June 21, 2022 at 11:36 PM  

Very best wishes to Chris & Danni with the new venture. You are helping to keep the High St. as an oasis in the town centre.

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