A fixture in St Albans city centre for 15 years has been driven out of business by the big chains.

In a in a last ditch attempt to survive Mario Petrou will revamp and reopen his business, Cafe Nes, in to a burger restaurant, named Relish.

Mr Petrou, who runs his cafe in St Albans City Hall, said he could no longer compete with the High Street coffee chains Costa, Starbucks, Pret A Manger and now Cafe Nero- who plan to open at the former Monsoon and Accessorize in Market Place.

The businessman said: "It’s not really working as it is at the moment what with all the coffee shops opening.

"Eighteen months ago our rents went up and all around the same time we have had a Costa, Pret and now Cafe Nero.

"Something had to give because less people were coming though the doors.

"It just all happened at the same time. It was really affecting us- it got to the stage where we either close down for good or changed. "

Cafe Nes closed its doors on Saturday and will reopen as a burger gourmet restaurant on July 2.

Mr Petrou runs the business alongside his wife Elena, her sister Anna Yianni and her husband Peter Yianni.

He said: "We didn’t want to give up after 15 years of business.

"Since before Christmas we have been discussing the closure and have done a lot of homework to find out what sort of restaurants are doing well.

"We're really hoping it is going to take off. "