A MUCH-LOVED and family-run cafe is still going strong in Leigh town centre despite the challenges that have been thrown its way.

Replacing a previous cafe along Railway Road, Uncle Ste's Diner opened back in 2002 and has become a well-known establishment for its traditional meals and hearty breakfasts.

While the cafe is commonly recommended for its 'all day' and 'mega' breakfasts, its menu has also grown to offer a variety of options for Leythers, including roast dinners, sandwiches, toasties, and hash browns, as well as pancakes, waffles, coffees, and milkshakes.

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Leigh Journal: The cafe is well-known for its all day breakfastsThe cafe is well-known for its all day breakfasts (Image: Uncle Ste's Diner)
Due to the menu favourites and varied options, Uncle Ste's has managed to stand proud for two decades in Leigh, although it has had to adapt to the many changes thrown its way.

Compared to when the cafe first opened two decades ago, manager Laura Croft said that footfall is nowhere near the same level along Railway Road, with the business particularly feeling the impact of the Wigan and Leigh College building closing a few doors down.

Leigh Journal: Inside the Railway Road cafeInside the Railway Road cafe (Image: Leigh Journal)
The recovery from covid has also been tricky to navigate as many of Uncle Ste's regular customers do not come into the cafe as frequently, while many more choose to use the business' delivery system set up during the pandemic.

Like many other businesses, Uncle Ste's has also had to deal with "terrible bills" during the cost of living crisis, so an increased focus on delivery orders has helped to keep things ticking over.

Leigh Journal: The cafe also sells roast dinners to stay or to goThe cafe also sells roast dinners to stay or to go (Image: Uncle Ste's Diner)
Laura said: "Unfortunately, we don't see the same number of faces as we did before covid as less of the older generation seem to be coming into town and we have much more delivery orders than we used to.

"We didn't offer deliveries before the pandemic but I think we could have gone under if we didn't have this supporting us during covid.

"It can get stressful at times but it does have its perks too, with some customers coming into the shop after trying us online."

Leigh Journal: Hash browns are another new addition to the menuHash browns are another new addition to the menu (Image: Uncle Ste's Diner)

Although footfall along Railway Road has declined over the years, Laura said that the cafe still has its trusted regular customers who return for the family atmosphere and popular meals, and Uncle Ste’s is particularly busy at the weekend.

So, after more than 20 years in the town and a focus on what works best, alongside a willingness to adapt and try something new, the team at Uncle Ste's aim to continue serving Leythers, in person or online, for many years to come.