Popular estate café reopens
PUBLISHED: 13:00 26 May 2012
A ‘VITAL’ café at a Weston community centre has reopened after closing last year despite widespread opposition from residents.
The café at the For All Healthy Living Centre in Lonsdale Avenue on the Bournville estate was pared back to a hot drinks and sandwiches service in September with much shorter opening times.
Residents attacked the decision, arguing the café was used every day by people who said it played a crucial role in the community and was vital to the estate.
Now the café will fully reopen after £8,000 of refurbishment work, operating from 9am-2.45pm Monday to Friday, offering hot and cold fresh food.
The Lunch Club, often used by elderly people to enjoy a cheap home-cooked meal, is also going back to freshly-prepared food instead of microwave meals.
Mark Graham, chief executive of the For All Healthy Living Company, said: “It is a delight to have the café fully open again.
“Seeing people chatting over a coffee, sat round having lunch together or coming in and out for sandwiches gives the whole centre a real buzz.
“We had to change the design of the kitchen and tidy it up. It was quite a significant change but it was necessary.
“I know a lot of people were upset at the time but we did listen to that, so we worked hard to make sure we still did teas and coffees and later brought sandwiches in.
“The last week or so we have already seen more people coming in and using the centre. We are really excited.”
North Somerset Council representative for South Ward Ian Parker said: “It is quite dead down there at times. The café is the heart of the building and at times it stopped beating.
“I am delighted it is open and I hope that over time they get back the custom they have obviously lost in the intervening period.”
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