Two independent shops in Deal are to close to make way for a bar, sparking debate on social media sites.
Vintage shops Taylor-Jones and Son and Magpie, at 152 High Street, opposite Deal Market, will be closing in three months.
The shopkeepers discovered the property would be converted into a bar via a mock-up picture on Facebook which has since been removed.
Deal was named High Street of the Year in a Daily Telegraph campaign at the start of the year.
Concerns have been raised over whether a bar is really needed in the town as rumours have spread that other shops could be suffering a similar fate.
Taylor-Jones and Son’s Facebook page read: “In a very circumspect way, we have been given notice to leave the shop by the landlord.
“He is making our shop and the one next door into a bar.
"We are devastated but have had a fabulous time in the last few months and won’t be throwing in the towel at this obstacle."- Taylor- Jones.
“Does Deal really need yet another bar with three new ones already in the pipeline?”
Managers Sonia and Richard Taylor-Jones declined to comment but were happy for their Facebook comments to be published.
Janey Preston, of Magpie, confirmed her retro shop would soon be looking for new premises.
She said: “We love Deal and are committed to the town and its high street and the people in it.
“The community vibe, the other shop owners, are all important to us.
“We very much enjoy being a part of it and enhancing our little town by being a quirky sole trader with integrity."
Landlord John Hill-Turner has confirmed that he would like to see the property converted into an independent, family-run bar. He has not submitted a planning application yet but intends to do so soon.
The bar would take on an European theme with live music and food and would create half a dozen jobs.
Mr Hill-Turner said: “Should we continue with this it will be done for my daughter Amy who is returning to Deal having been brought up here, educated here and is coming back from university to run her own business.
Read the full report in this week's East Kent Mercury, out now.