Fire at Rugby's empty Frankie and Benny's raises questions over building's future as a Tim Hortons

A fire at an empty unit on Rugby’s Junction One Retail Park has raised questions over a plan to bring Tim Hortons to town.

The unit as it appeared the morning after the fire - with portions of the roof collapsed.
The unit as it appeared the morning after the fire - with portions of the roof collapsed.

The unit, sited on the town’s Junction One retail park, has sat empty since 2020 – when Frankie and Benny’s confirmed that it would not be re-opening when lockdown lifted.

Earlier this year this newspaper published a story outlining plans for Canadian chain Tim Hortons to convert the unit into one of their branches.

Those plans were approved by Rugby council on Tuesday – July 5.

But just days later, on Friday, July 8, a fire broke out at the unit – sending up a plume of smoke that could be seen from miles away.

The fire appears to have done significant damage to the unit.

This morning this newspaper contacted the company to ask whether, at this stage, the fire might have changed their plans to open a branch.

We will publish an update once they have responded.