Kettering cafe owners feel council are 'riding roughshod' over Blitz lease

The cafe will have to close over the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee weekend

Friday, 22nd April 2022, 6:00 am
l-r  Patrick McDonald and manager Jarmen Avedisian
l-r Patrick McDonald and manager Jarmen Avedisian

The owners of a popular Kettering cafe have voiced their dismay that roof repairs to be undertaken by their council landlords will be at their busiest time for bookings.

Patrick McDonald bought the ten-year lease on the the Blitz Cafe, the former coach house linked to the town’s Manor House Museum, next to Kettering’s Library and the Alfred East Art Gallery.

With North Northamptonshire Council’s £3m extension to the gallery and library buildings halfway through construction, the cafe roof repairs are the latest disruption for the tenants as the new building takes shape nearby.

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The GLaM

Cafe manager Jarmen Avedisian, who co-manages the cafe with her sister, feels that they are in danger of going out of business due to the enforced closure and noise.

Ms Avedisian said: “The noise has been horrendous. People come and hear it and say how can you put up with this noise? Now they want to close us down for three weeks. We have bookings all over the Queen’s Jubilee weekend and we’ve got music planned.”

Mr McDonald has been disappointed about the length of time that temporary fencing has been restricting the drive that leads to the cafe.

He said: “In January, they said they would be erecting a temporary fence for three to four weeks. It’s been there for 11 weeks longer than they said. It makes it difficult for the people to see the place. It’s totally inconsiderate – we have in our contract the guarantee of peace to trade and they have ridden roughshod over the lease. We have asked for compensation.”

The work has been

Last year the leaseholders of the Second World War-themed tea room had been reassured that they could stay in the premises after council plans showed the former coach house as the entrance for a revamped museum.

Last month, councillors were asked to release a further £75,000 from the authority's capital funds because the scheme was running over-budget.

Ms Avedisian said: "They can’t just leave us like this. I have been telling them for five years about the roof. It’s ruined our plans. I’ve been on anti-depressants since this all began.”

North Northamptonshire Council has been contacted for a comment but are yet to provide a statement.