Restaurant plans for Bexhill's Colonnade to be discussed

Rother councillors will be discussing plans to offer a new long-term lease to a restaurant operator at the Colonnade.

Tuesday, 25th September 2018, 11:02 am
Updated Tuesday, 25th September 2018, 11:04 am
The Colonnade, Bexhill SUS-180726-115106001

On Monday (October 1) councillors on the district council’s cabinet committee will be considering a recommendation to offer one for 10 years.

In his report, which will be presented on Monday, Dr Anthony Leonard, the council’s executive director, said: “While the newly-opened Colonnade has proved popular with customers, it has been unable to offer a full food menu as envisaged due to delays in connecting to the gas supply.

“While there has been constant communication with the gas company, being outside of the council’s control this has been the single greatest constraint to the business thus far. A full report on the operation of the Colonnade will be presented to Cabinet at its meeting on November 5.

“As a direct result of the Colonnade opening, the council has been approached by several restaurant operators seeking to take a lease of the premises; and this interest has resulted in three serious rental offers being put forward.

“Officers have met with all of the interested parties. Two of these would look to trade over the 18/19 winter season, although some are seeking a rent-free period as they would be commencing operations during the off-peak season.

“The offers come from operators with an established business portfolio and considerable experience in the restaurant sector.”

In May the district council announced that a major refurbishment would begin at the Colonnade.

The venue became vacant at the end of October last year, when the lease of its previous occupant, Tea Beside the Sea, expired.

The district council chose not to renew the cafe’s lease after a cabinet decision to put a long-term lease out to bidders.

At the time, the council was criticised for the move by Tea Beside the Sea owner Janet Van Den Bussche, who said she was not given enough time to wind up her business.

In January, after the prospective tenant for the Colonnade pulled out, the council’s cabinet agreed instead to run the eatery in-house.

The Colonnade opened for business in July.

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