Sunday, 20 August 2017

Customers upset as cafe shuts before sale

A CAFÉ in Wargrave has closed pending its sale.

A CAFÉ in Wargrave has closed pending its sale.

Owner Tony Colborne, of Wyatt Close, Wargrave, put the Old Post Office coffee shop up for sale last month after being told that he must restrict its opening hours.

He bought the premises in June 2008 and, after carrying out renovations, operated a florists and post office. In May 2009, the shops became an interior design business but this closed in July 2011.

The coffee shop, which had a licence to sell alcohol, had been opening for bistro evenings at weekends.

But when Mr Colborne applied for retrospective planning permission to change the use of the premises from two shops his closest neighbours called for the business to be closed down.

Wokingham Borough Council decided to restrict the opening hours.

Mr Colborne marketed the business with Adams & Co, of Maidenhead, for £649,500. The advert said the café had an “enviable” location and was an “ideal lifestyle business” for a sole proprietor or a husband-and-wife team.

But this week Mr Colborne decided to offer the premises as a single residential property and it is now being marketed by Ballards for £575,000.

Mr Colborne said: “I had already made the decision to sell the building, including the business, which created a certain amount of uncertainty with staff and customers. I therefore decided to end the uncertainty by closing the business.

“I wrote to over 700 customers informing them of the decision and I received hundreds of replies stating how sad they were to hear I was closing the café with many pleading with me to change my mind.”

The Old Post Office employed a full-time chef and six part-time staff.

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