A FAVOURITE lunchtime spot has relocated to a new venue – but has opened for one day only before being closed for lockdown.

Darlington institution The Savoury Diner is relocating from the indoor market to the Cornmill Centre.

The Savoury Cafe opened yesterday but has had to close its doors almost straight away because of the second lockdown, which started today.

Alex Blackham, who owns the cafe with his wife Sam, said: "We didn't plan it this way but we are going to do it. After today we will be putting our feet up and watching some box sets.

"We might do some savoury traybakes for delivery like we did during the last time but it depends on supplies."

He added: "We've invested a huge amount in making it what it needs to be.

"We're really excited. It's bittersweet with lockdown but we're excited to open.

"It's more welcoming and inviting, with heating and no leaks

"We're happy to still be trading after all this time. We will not let the Savoury die."

Crowned the Northern Echo's best cafe in 2019, it is famed for the Darlington Savoury, a sandwich containing sausage meat and onions.

It has been running for more than 80 years and has been owned by the Blackhams for the last 20.

It was based in the indoor market until last Friday, but has moved to make way for its redevelopment.

A number of businesses from the indoor market have recently relocated to the Cornmill Centre as a result of the scheme.

Julie's of Darlington, which sells a range of accessories, Hannigan Shoe Repairs, The Sweet Shop and Baby J's are now all based at the shopping centre.

Susan Young, centre manager at the Cornmill Centre, said: “We are thrilled to welcome The Savoury Café, which readers of The Northern Echo crowned the North-East’s best café in 2019, into the centre.

" There’s always a friendly atmosphere in The Savoury, and that’s no surprise as they offer great food at great prices”

David Charlton, asset manager for NewRiver said: “We are really pleased to continue bringing new retailers to the Cornmill and are excited to add another new use and long established local business to the tenant mix in the centre.

"We are sure The Savoury Cafe will be a real success.”