Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Cafe closed in noise row re-opens with new couple

THE Old Post Office café in Wargrave re-opened this week.

THE Old Post Office café in Wargrave re-opened this week.

The business in High Street closed in May after complaints from neighbours about late opening hours and the sale of alcohol.

Now owner Tony Colborne has leased the building to Karin Edlind and her partner Tim Lawrence, from Reading.

Miss Edlind, 34, has a background in catering and will be the chef while 38-year-old Mr Lawrence will help out in between his work as an IT security architect.

Miss Edlind said: “I’ve been in contract catering for years and have also worked in restaurants.

“For the last two years we’ve been looking at running our own place and when this came up we decided to give it a go. I’ve got experience in running units but Tim is a bit of a beginner, he’s just a coffee lover.

“We’re going to do it our own way, kicking off with coffees and home-made cakes and cookies. We are hoping to do breakfasts and lunches and I have experience making wedding and birthday cakes but we are going to start off slowly.”

The couple took a month getting the café to ready to re-open, spending about £1,000 refurbishing the interiorand bringing in their own tables and chairs. Miss Edlind said: “We only signed the lease on September 11, so it has been quite hectic but we are really excited to get going.

“People have been knocking and asking when we are opening, which fills us with confidence.”

Mr Colborne, of Wyatt Close, Wargrave, closed the café in April after 15 months when he was told by Wokingham Borough Council that he must restrict its opening hours.

He said it was “brilliant” that the business was running again. He added: “There is a much better arrangement because I could only pop in once a week when it needs somebody here to run it as their own business, which is the case now.”

Mr Colborne, who has owned the premises since June 2008, put the café on the market for £649,500, saying it had an “enviable” location and was an “ideal lifestyle business”.

Two weeks later, he decided to try to sell the premises as a single residential property for £575,000.

When he bought the premises, Mr Colborne carried out renovations before running a florists and post office.

In May 2009, the shops became an interior design business but this shut in July 2011.

Mr Colborne, who had a licence to sell alcohol at the café, said the restriction of opening hours made the business unviable.

The business employed a full-time chef and six part-time staff. Miss Edlind said she planned to employ villagers but was using agency staff to begin with.

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