News

Kilbroney cafe is ‘not closing’

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

THE council has confirmed that Kilbroney Forest Park Cafe will not be closing, following recent social media speculation.

A Facebook post by Kilbroney Park Cafe on Thursday, stated that they were told by Newry, Mourne and Down District Council (NMDC) to "vacate the premises" and as a result, the cafe will cease trading on December 30.

The social media post has been shared 459 times and has received 1,200 'Likes' and over 500 comments from some of its regulars.

In a further post by the cafe, which has been operating for 13 years, it was explained that the current contract with NMDC has expired but was renewed in the past without a break in service.

“Now we have been told to vacate the premises and that we will be given the opportunity to re-tender for the business," read the Facebook post.

“As a result we have to cease trading, pay off our fantastic staff and remove all our equipment from the building on the hope that sometime in the near future we may successfully regain the contract and begin trading again.

“We do not understand why we would have to vacate the premises if there was the possibility that we would be allowed to continue trading upon successfully re-tendering for the business.

“Thank you everyone once again for your support over the last 13 years."

Disgruntled Kilbroney Park Cafe goers aired their frustration and offered their support to the members of staff.

Stephen Rooney wrote: "That's sad news. We loved calling into the cafe for the great food with great views and friendly staff. Surely people power can help out? If the council get enough complaints about this perhaps the decision can be reversed? Can you set up a petition for everyone to sign? That's an awful way for the council to treat a thriving cafe of 13 years!"

While Tracy Wilson added: "This is a horrendous decision from the council! Our family have camped in the park for years and rely on the cafe for a warm friendly service with fab [sic] food! So sorry to hear this news! Get a petition started, I'll certainly sign it."

A spokesperson for NMDC, however, confirmed to the Democrat that they will not be closing the facilities at Kilbroney Forest Park.

“The current cafe operator's licence has expired and council is working with them to address the legal matters arising," said the spokesperson.

“It would be inappropriate to comment further on those discussions."

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