THE new owners of the Octagon Cafe in Swindon bus station say they are ready for the challenge of bringing the cafe into the 21st century.

Previous owner Dennis Offer, now 62, sold the business to John and Heidi Flitcroft after running the eight-sided diner successfully for 33 years.

John, who moved to Swindon four years ago after working as a chef for 17 years, found out about the cafe after becoming a driver for Stagecoach.

The company then asked him to run the staff canteen and that’s when he got talking to Dennis.

“I happened to say hello, and we got talking, and then it all moved very quickly from there. He hinted at the fact he was giving it up,” John told the Advertiser.

“I just love the building, I love the shape, the glass. I think it’s really good.

The restaurant was still decorated with the same tiles since it opened in 1985 so John has been working over the last couple of days to give it a more modern look as well as a dash of fresh flavour.

“We hope to bring it up to date a little bit,” he said.

“We’re bringing in fresh barista coffee to compete with the likes of Costa.”

Dennis said he was unable to grow the business because it was earmarked for demolition several times in the past.

“The council hasn’t helped him over the years because of the plans to demolish the area, he’s not known what’s happening for the past 14 years,” said John.

But the bus station, and Octagon which is attached to the complex, has a five-year lease.

As well as the coffee, John has created a new menu so customers can have a sit down meal or grab something while they are on the go.

“I love the fast-pace, and creating new dishes,” he added.

“That’s all I’ve ever really done.

It can be stressful, but I work better under pressure than if I’m twiddling my thumbs.”