Smyth's Cafe

Has been standing derelict in West Street, Newtownards, for several years now.

Many memories of meals here as a Young Lad. They offered a Lunch Special which was a chicken thigh, chips and beans for a resonable sum; that used to be a favourite on Saturdays after browsing in the second-hand bookshop that formerly stood next-door ( now demolished ). An unrushed lunch flicking-through the recent purchase before bimbling into the town centre to do the grocery shopping.

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I also remember buying a chip with a can of Lilt and wandering home one night with Mum as we marvelled at comet Hale-Bopp, which would date that particular recollection to Spring 1997.

Victor's served the west side of Ards ( the old town ) whilst his sibling Edith ran a slightly classier chip shop at the far end of Francis Street, serving the east side of the town which was built-up through the 1960s and 70s with an influx from Belfast.

We seldom had reason to visit the East End so rarely ate in Edith's, but I do remember it being more brightly-lit and with more space around the tables. More clinical and less grubby than Victor's.

Victor's restaurant section, behind the two leftmost shutters as seen here, had a central aisle with long tables either side, each table sitting four or five people along either side. On a damp Saturday afternoon it was a steamy, crowded and warm place to spend an hour. The entrance was on the right-hand side of the building, behind the second shutter from the right, with a very spacious foyer area wherein one would loiter whilst a carry-out order was cooked.