Tribute to unique and inspiring entrepreneur Andy Barrett – The Isle Of Thanet News
Thanet paid tribute today (July 8) following the sad news of the death of Andy Barrett, owner of Old Kent Market and Ramsgate Promenade Market.
Larger than life, instantly recognizable with his beard, hat and colorful clothes, Andy was a force of nature on the island for over 20 years.
He brought a taste of something new to the hospitality scene with the opening of Ramsgate’s Belgian Bar in 2000. The popular venue was a hub for food and drink, but also music and art with artwork by locals displayed on the walls, a regular spot for the island’s belly dancing troupe, and a piano for anyone who fancied a tune.
In 2016 Andy extended his creative flair to Margate with the opening of the Old Kent Market. Based on the site of the former Parade cinema, the shiny pink building has housed many small shops, food outlets and a cafe on board a double-decker bus.
He also opened La Trappiste in Canterbury in 2010 which ran until 2017.
Always evolving with the times, Andy closed The Belgian Bar in March 2018 and, after a complete overhaul, reappeared as Green Tara a few months later. The place still served the famous pizzas alongside other street foods and drinks.
Yet another transformation took place last year when there was another paint job and reorganization before the launch of the Ramsgate Promenade Market – again housing small food and drink traders.
In April this year, Andy took on the challenge of being opposite the UK’s biggest pub by becoming host of the country’s smallest pub.
The Little King Richard Arms serves from its 5ft wide, 2ft 2in deep room and was named for Andy’s ‘true gentleman’ and longtime friend Richard Brown, who is sadly passed away following a fire in Ramsgate last year.
Andy, who turned 74 this year, is remembered by friends as ‘a kind, enthusiastic, energetic, enterprising and inspiring man’ who loved to see others having fun, would give his time and space to those in need and faced life with eccentricity, creativity and kindness.