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The Runaway - sad news

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On 9 Jan 2013 at 2:54pm Cllr Ashley Price wrote:
It has been confirmed on The Runaway's Facebook page, and by Southern Railway, that The Runaway has lost its lease and will have to shut down at the end of February.
Replacing them will be The Flying Coffee Bean will take over the lease of the cafe on Platform 2 of Lewes Railway Station.
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On 9 Jan 2013 at 3:03pm Badom Tsh wrote:
Oh no. That's choo bad
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On 9 Jan 2013 at 3:12pm Merlin Milner wrote:
Terrible news. No doubt Southern will give us some corporate bollox about choice and how they went through a tendering process by not listening to local views. Another loved local business makes way for some over priced sh 1 t playing some modern R and effing B musak selling over priced paninis and rubbish tea.
Another win for cultural homogenisation and corporate laziness.
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On 9 Jan 2013 at 3:29pm jude wrote:
And this is what you are going to get instead. If they dont do a cuppa tea for 1.20 I shall be boycotting them.

Check it out here »
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On 9 Jan 2013 at 3:46pm Seagull wrote:
If it's rubbish then boycott it. Advise others to boycott it too.
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On 9 Jan 2013 at 3:47pm Picket wrote:
If someone feels strongly about it why not organise a Lewes Arms-esque strike/boycott?
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On 9 Jan 2013 at 3:55pm Lewes lady wrote:
I'm sure this is indeed disappointing news for the people who ran it, and some punters too. Personally I was never even tempted to set foot inside the place, so I can't vouch for the quality or service on offer. But surely they remembered that their lease was for a set period of time, rather than open-ended, and so could only ever be regarded as a temporary operation?
I accept that punters may not have known this - at least until the previous special concession by the railways not to re-tender - but at least they do now. As is said above, if the new operation is poor, don't use it.
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On 9 Jan 2013 at 4:00pm Cllr Ashley Price wrote:
They did know that they had a lease for a set amount of time. See the news page of their website:

Check it out here »
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On 9 Jan 2013 at 4:12pm bastian wrote:
clone town coming soon!
someone is trying to make Lewes conform..and it isn't me.
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On 9 Jan 2013 at 4:36pm Bob wrote:
Surely if it is to become a chain that the punters could use Daisy's across the road? A local sandwich and coffee bar that seemed to offer similar products as the runaway.
As Lewes Lady put, I too never entered the establishment. Perhaps due to experience of over charging train station facilities although the runaway may have been different.
Why support a losing battle? Yes it is a disappointment for the owners and staff however they knew it was happening. If they are that desperate I am sure they can pick up another store that they could run from? Perhaps the old metal work shop underneath the bridge opposite the old Harvey's yard where they will still be in close proximity to the station or one of the little stores opposite the station.
I will say though I bet the owners and more likely the staff will be employed by the new chain!
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On 9 Jan 2013 at 4:56pm Cllr Ashley Price wrote:
I have been in contact with The Flying Coffee Bean, regarding them employing any current staff, and they say "At this stage it would be too early to comment on this as we have only recently found out that we won the tender".
I will keep everyone posted.
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On 9 Jan 2013 at 4:59pm John Stockdale wrote:
Bob, yes the Runaway team can go and operate from somewhere else, but that's not quite the point. Enough regular and intermittant station users liked having the Runaway Cafe where it was to sign a respectably large petition asking for it to stay. The Flying Coffee Bean is relatively local and it isn't exactly Costa's. But is it sensible for Southern, in the week they put their fares up, to annoy their 'customers' by kicking out a service that they clearly appreciate?
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On 9 Jan 2013 at 5:17pm Clifford wrote:
John, I doubt if Southern are bothered about annoying their 'customers' at any time as it's not as if we've got a choice about which train we get from Lewes. The beauty of the competitive market in action.
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On 9 Jan 2013 at 5:40pm Merlin Milner wrote:
The Flying bean is part of London based amusingly named 'Drinks People' based in London who under a different name do beverages at exhibition centres. So they are a national company who are building up a railway beverage business under the Flying dodah brand.
Has anyone experienced their tea at their Brighton station cafe?
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On 9 Jan 2013 at 5:51pm babysitter wrote:
I do recommend Daisy's - it's great and the people who run it are friendly and always up for a chat.
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On 9 Jan 2013 at 6:14pm Annette Curtin-Twitcher wrote:
So sad. The Runaway is great, good value and service, and happy not to restrict themselves to exactly what's on the menu if customers want something different. I doubt if you'll find that when it's run by some corporate outfit.
Daisy's is a good alternative, but you can't sit down in there while you're waiting for your train.
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On 9 Jan 2013 at 6:26pm padster wrote:
Like the last time I would like to see a petition for those who would prefer to keep the runaway cafe. I am sure the corporate winner will always win a tendering process over an independent. I know there are a lot of you out there who really love this cafe, and I for one would like to see it stay.
Cllr Price could you assist with this. I take it you are a supporter of the cafe and its high quality of food and drink?
We could tell southern we the undersigned will NOT use the new cafe and BOYCOTT the new corporate cafe.
If we donā??t act it will be gone and it will never return.
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On 9 Jan 2013 at 7:03pm Lewes lady wrote:
Too late. As John says above, there has been a petition - that failed. Things move on, whether we like it or not.
Losing tenders is part of real life - albeit disruptive at the time. I was sure the end of Thames TV twenty-odd years ago was going to be a crisis, but guess what - ITV continued, just under the Carlton name...
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On 9 Jan 2013 at 7:09pm Cllr Ashley Price wrote:
@Padster Sadly the decision has already been made and the lease awarded to the other company. A petition now (especially after the last one failed) I think would have little effect.
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On 9 Jan 2013 at 7:19pm Ivor The Engine wrote:
Is the problem the fact that the cafe will no longer be an independent.
I would have to be honest and say that I have never liked the place. I have all ways found the coffee and the food to be not that great and certainly not in the same class as across the road in Daisy's. The problem with Daisy's is that whilst the staff are really nice they are also very slow which doesn't all ways dove tail with catching a train.
The other slight issue I have with Runaway is that it may be an independent and please correct me if I'm wrong but doesn't the owner spends the vast majority of the year living out the country.
You say you don't like chains but I would argue with anyone that the best coffee in town is a Costa flat white.
Why not give the new business a chance.
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On 9 Jan 2013 at 8:12pm Old Cynic wrote:
Ah the Flying Coffee Bean - have had the 'pleasure' at a recent conference = less than average coffee at a more than average price - my advice, buy a flask/mug and make your own.
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On 9 Jan 2013 at 8:26pm Country Boy wrote:
It tickles me that Merlin Milner supported the end of Lewes Cinema's use of All Saints yet is now saying how unfair it is that Southern are kicking out The Runaway.
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On 9 Jan 2013 at 8:41pm outraged wrote:
What is going on?- I received an email only YESTERDAY thanking me for raising the issue that said they were currently undertaking a review. What can we do? - this seems to me a metaphor for what is happening in this country. And it's irreversible! pretty quick review!! - it's the confidence shown when executing these dodgy dealings that frankly scares me...
A small point - how can small businesses provide proper service when they are under cyclical threat. I'm so angry i could eat myself. As a 'premium' consumer I have now got to consume premium RUBBISH.....
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On 9 Jan 2013 at 10:20pm Big Bang wrote:
If you don't like it don't go in there! Premium consumer??? only if you go in there. No one is forcing you.
The decision has been made. Boycott, avoid do what ever.
But don't criticise and moan about the closing of an independent and then go supporting the chain and become a premium consumer.
You can't have it both ways
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On 9 Jan 2013 at 10:21pm Merlin Milner wrote:
Country Boy
16 out of 18 elected Councillors agreed to LEWES Town Council running Cinema in the LEWES' community arts centre for the benefit of Lewesians. Quite different to a big PLC using a medium sized private multiple to replace a single local business. Please don't conflate 2 very different issues.
 
 
On 9 Jan 2013 at 11:33pm No Pot Pourri wrote:
I quite like the guy who runs the "Daily Grind" franchise at Preston Park. Best name ever for commuter coffee!
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On 9 Jan 2013 at 11:43pm Bean and Gone. wrote:
Merlin, apologies, but your comparison is rather irrelevant. It is the similarity of the principle that you are being confronted with not how many people were involved. That principle is that a supported established business is being ousted by the landlords and replaced, resulting in damage to that business, or worse. I doubt that Southern Railway staff had much more difficulty chucking the Runway out than Councillors did with some people running a cinema. We will never know if the information that Southern Rail discussed was of the same calibre as that which led 16 Councillors to risk public money on running a business without a business model that included the impact of the evicted tenant being in competition with the new investment.
Neither of us have to agree with Country Boy, but you do need to be realistic about why a lot of people think that changes were achieved in an extremely unfortunate, and inappropriate way even if we end up with a better cafe, and a better cinema. I am yet to see either, so i am remaining a little more impartial.
I also see no reason for anyone to be critical of a new business that has not even sold a single coffee yet. It may be that this branch will be distinctive from the others, i do not know. It may just be a load of rubbish, which is perhaps more likely, given the existing examples. I personally think the Runway is quite nice, especially the tea. But it is certainly not the most amazing cafe the world has ever known, and of all the issues in Lewes that it would be nice to see 3 councillors so vocal about in one thread, this wouldn't be at the top of my list.

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On 9 Jan 2013 at 11:57pm Earl of Lewes wrote:
Lewes Lady - Carlton were rubbish. I think we have to make a distinction between progress and change.
I first went to the Runaway in 1991 and loved it - a far cry from the impersonal chains. I thought that it was finished when Vic decided to 'runaway' to Eastbourne, but the staff soldiered on and it remained one of the many things that make Lewes different. It's a sad say for the town.
 
 
On 10 Jan 2013 at 1:36am Local wrote:
Could be worse...

Check it out here »
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On 10 Jan 2013 at 8:07am Cuban Raft Rider wrote:
With all this positive sentiment for something more personal, individual & sensitive to Lewes from our charming station tea shop perhaps it is up to the good people of Lewes to bend and shape the service by working with the new company & staff to make it some thing more agreeable than a carbon copy chain.
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On 10 Jan 2013 at 8:14am Peter wrote:
Under TUPE the new business owners have to employ the existing staff don't they? I think it's sad the quirky cafe goes but that's capitalism folks! Assume highest bidder won. As people have said don't use it if you don't like it - to be fair the coffee in the one in Brighton station is good but can't see them knocking out 20 teas in a few minutes before a train comes in.
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On 10 Jan 2013 at 9:07am Cllr Ashley Price wrote:
From my understanding of TUPE, employees would not be covered in this situation as The Flying Coffee Bean (TFCB) has been awarded a lease to operate from the building, they are not have any dealings with The Runaway itself,
If they had bought The Runaway off the current owners, with a view to running the business, then TUPE would come into force.
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On 10 Jan 2013 at 12:17pm tobnac wrote:
Reasons why Iā??m sad the runaway is closing*:
The staff know the train timetable, so they know when to crank the service up a gear to make sure everybody gets their tea and their train.
The tea is made in a proper pot, not with teabags. There is no way any chain can compete (and sorry Daisy, but your teabag tea canā??t either, despite being a few pence cheaper)
The cheese and ham croissants. Expensive, so an occasional treat, but amazingly good
Optics behind the bar. I never indulged, but I am glad they were there. Might have to treat myself to a goodbye tipple!
Flying bean will offer posh, expensive coffee, rubbish tea and I donā??t expect a personal service either.
*apart from being gutted for the staff of course
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On 10 Jan 2013 at 12:50pm king cnut wrote:
I never liked the place, very pretentious and classic fm!!! I suppose if you were a regular commutor it was different but I always found the staff to be very indifferent. Perhaps it was just too clique.
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On 10 Jan 2013 at 1:06pm smedley wrote:
Pretentious king cnut? Try this:
"At DP, weā??re passionate about the quality of everything we do, from the blending and roasting of our coffee to the design and styling of our outlets and bars."
Boycott!
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On 10 Jan 2013 at 1:07pm Bloke 84 wrote:
Not sad to see it go. Outdated and out of touch. It will be nice to see something fresh and new.
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On 10 Jan 2013 at 1:10pm smedley wrote:
and expensive no doubt.


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