On 12 Feb 2017 at 12:37pm Jane Vaughan wrote:
I live in Friars Walk and we are completely opposed to any kind of food outlet at the baths. Aqua...why don't you take over one of the EMPTY units in the Premier Inn site. We understand that the council will need to rent the building but not a restaurant or takeaway
On 12 Feb 2017 at 1:18pm sue wrote:
Surely a classic case of nimbyism. It seems fine to me - maybe such a building will attract an independent restaurant. Friars Walk is a mixed use area in any case.
On 12 Feb 2017 at 2:02pm The Old Mayor wrote:
Maybe Aqua can't afford another £81,000 pa rent plus rates !! And already want to relocate ?
On 12 Feb 2017 at 2:54pm Localist wrote:
I contacted the council about turing this great building back into a bathhouse. They weren't remotely interested. I then asked about it being a cafe, a proper old school sort of cafe for locals and builders and suchlike, they weren't interested. It may end up as a eatery, but yet another high rent paying chain outlet.
On 12 Feb 2017 at 4:40pm Tom Pain wrote:
How many restaurants can one town take? We seem to have scores already.
On 12 Feb 2017 at 5:23pm The people wrote:
Need the council and planners to say why they are only approving restaurants in the recent and new develop,nets in lewes. We have enough of these outlets. Council seems to think that the business case for the TB makes sense, but it won't if no one goes into the premises.....lack commercial sense our representatives..
On 12 Feb 2017 at 6:49pm Handy wrote:
What we need it a community workshop where people can share tools and skills.
A proper community asset, that's what our councils should be helping to provide for us.
On 12 Feb 2017 at 6:56pm The people wrote:
Formal statement needed from Council........
On 12 Feb 2017 at 7:40pm Localist wrote:
Handy...We had community assets on the Pheonix estate and the council diid nothing to protect them. There is no dynamic within the LC for community assets. They are only interested in the income from business rates. My cafe plan was aimed squarely at the locals and workers who cant afford to eat or drink in the many extortionately expensive eateries. Nice simple inexpensive food for people on the go, not the people who sit around talking about house prices.
On 12 Feb 2017 at 7:55pm The people wrote:
Localist, so right.......
On 12 Feb 2017 at 9:14pm Fairmeadow wrote:
Doesn't seem a very well researched plan.
On 12 Feb 2017 at 9:58pm Angel wrote:
How much would you charge for a cup of tea? And a cheese and pickle sandwich?
On 13 Feb 2017 at 8:24am Dave Johnson wrote:
Localist. There was a Cafe in Nevill Road that was 'a proper Cafe' with good grub at very reasonable prices. It's now closed because it wasn't used enough mostly due to the parking situation. People don't seem to want simple food anymore.
On 13 Feb 2017 at 8:38am Localist wrote:
Dave, you are right, but the Neville Road cafe was also a long way out of the way. Parking is always going to be an issue, but my plan, being town central would not be overly affected. I recall the old cafe where Brake Brothers Bills now is, I wanted to recreate something like that. Anyway, its not going to happen, so we can look forward to yet more mass produced overpriced chain crap.
On 13 Feb 2017 at 8:44am vic wrote:
Can't figure out what the 'community assets' were on the Phoenix Localist. It seemed to me like a cheap playground for indulged 'creatives'.
On 13 Feb 2017 at 10:29am Ed Can Do wrote:
Tom Pain, there are a few restaurants opening but then there are a few closing. Lazzattis has gone, I'm amazed ASK and Pizza Express manage to stay open and Aqua has signalled the beginning of the end for Bills. It's a huge investment opening a business though, especially a restaurant and the people who do it obviously think there is money to made otherwise why bother? The reason there is no simple café for simple folk in Lewes any more is as Dave Johnson rightly said, there isn't enough of a market for it to make enough to pay the rent/rates.
Rent would be around £80k, rates about £5k for a tiny place like that (£225/m2 per the gov.uk website). Let's assume you're open from 8am to 6pm (Would people go to a café for dinner? One assumes breakfast, lunch and coffees would be the main sellers), that's ten hours a day and you probably want to close earlier on a Sunday so let's call it 65 hours per week.
Nobody wants to work that many hours a week themselves so you need a supervisor to cover about 30 hours per week, current rate about £10/hour including tax and holiday pay for someone you can trust so £15,600 a year. You need a chef too who'll come in at least an hour before you open every day so 72 hours per week at about £12/hour is £45k worth of chef wages.
Your annual costs are already £136,000 and you've not paid for any water, electricity, phone, wifi, insurance and legal fees. You're open 3,380 hours a year so you need to make £40 per hour, every hour of the year to break even (Before water etc). Oh and you need to buy ingredients, a major international catering company with great purchasing power will aim for a 75% GP, as a new business you'll be lucky to get 65% so you now need to make £62 per hour. And don't forget at this point you've not paid any other bills, you're working 40 hours per week yourself with nobody to do the washing up and not having any time off. Oh, and it probably cost you a fair amount up front to secure the lease and put in the kitchen and furniture so the interest on that loan needs paying too.
Doesn't look like a great proposition to me.
On 13 Feb 2017 at 12:17pm Jennifer wrote:
What's wrong with having one decent restaurant, where compromises aren't necessary or tolerated, in Lewes? Where service doesn't look like it's being given reluctantly by 'locals' between jobs? Where no excuses need be given for handing out an improper kind of knife or not knowing the wine list? There are currently no Michelin stars in Lewes and that's seen by many who speak to me as simply wrong for a town that's supposed to do better. Please bring a nice restaurant and maybe a boutique hotel here. It would be unique, and a successful asset for this little town.
On 13 Feb 2017 at 1:09pm Matt Sharpe wrote:
Why does LDC want to spend £220,000 to refurbish it ? You could build a brand new, decent sized house for that !! Provided that you own the land !
Are they planning to use,gold plated plug sockets, taps, light fittings, screws and nails ???
On 13 Feb 2017 at 2:35pm Pedro wrote:
@ Jennifer, first world problems eh? Its a TRAVESTY how our town doesn't have another pretentious restaurant, particularly one with a mighty accolade of a french tyre manufacturer so its diners can eat less and pay more for the pleasure. Of all the things that must be addressed in Lewes, is the opening of an establishment so we can pretend to enjoy its meagre servings and smugly tell our friends all about it to try and impress them, between discussing our kitchen refurbishment, the summer holidays and the property market.
Or we could just open a modest Amsterdam style coffee house, legalise cannabis, so that we can all just relax as a community and even bring in the stuffy snobs and foodies so that they can finally enjoy themselves and let their hair down rather than being so focused on impressing others. Thats how you can integrate society!
On 13 Feb 2017 at 3:26pm Chester Packov-Lyze wrote:
Even better - let's turn it into a local branch of Goldman Sachs just to annoy Clifford :-)
On 13 Feb 2017 at 4:07pm inthegutter wrote:
I really like the Hearth. Except the service of course.
On 13 Feb 2017 at 4:57pm Ed Can Do wrote:
Despite Jennifer being a joke account I agree to an extent that it's quite surprising there's not a really high-end eaterie in Lewes or nearby. I guess Marco Pierre White's abject failure to get any customers at the Rainbow or Chequers might put off anyone else thinking of giving that a go and aiming for the levels of food and service you expect from a Michellin starred place is hilariously expensive.
On 13 Feb 2017 at 6:16pm Feline wrote:
I remember Circa being very good. If I remember correctly it moved into Pelham House and then disappeared. Anyone know any reason why?
On 13 Feb 2017 at 6:41pm the people wrote:
So who will make a formal statement for the Council to justify both this situation and the fact that they have given use as restaurants for remaining units next to Aqua.
On 13 Feb 2017 at 7:51pm The Old Mayor wrote:
I'm sure the council don't decide which should be shops and which should be restaurants. The landlord/owner/tenant applies for which ever category of useage they require, the council then either approve it or not for whatever reason they feel applies i.e.too smelly, not compatible to surrounding residential etc etc. The reason the Premier Inn units landlord chose restaurants was clearly more rental income, if the units were rented as retail, it is clearly secondary retail space, i.e. Much cheaper than prime position rents, whilst restaurants don't require such prime retail positions, but achieve higher rental income. If someone applied for retail permision at the Turkish Baths, they too would probably obtain said permision, except no one has. There are a host of planning use classes available to apply for.
On 13 Feb 2017 at 8:01pm Frankie wrote:
The smell of eucalyptus and being thrashed with a bundle of birch twigs. Such vivid memories.
On 14 Feb 2017 at 1:51am Local wrote:
Circa is in Woodingdean now
On 14 Feb 2017 at 10:25am Observer wrote:
i I agree to an extent that it's quite surprising there's not a really high-end eaterie in Lewes or nearby.
Yes, but Brighton has quite a few - 24 St George's, Isaacs, 64 Degrees, Drakes etc. as well as a lot of really good middle-market stuff - I think this tends to suck the custom out of Lewes. It's only 15-20 minutes away after all; it takes longer to get from the suburbs of Manchester or Leeds to the centre.
On 14 Feb 2017 at 10:51am Old Malling wrote:
The reason why there are so many restaurants is because they can make a profit. People are buying so much on line that the only shops that are doing well are ones where people have to visit (restaurants, hair dressers etc). We're lucky that we are affluent enough to keep the other shops in business. Whether all of the restaurants can all keep going is debatable until extra housing is built on North Street. I suspect that Real Eating Co will be the next to close if anybody does.
On 14 Feb 2017 at 1:20pm Just Me wrote:
Nimbyism? Oh please, thank goodness someone lives nearby and can keep us informed. I live a few streets away and can't for the life of me see why another community building should be sold off. Once they are gone they are gone forever.
Vic, don't be so rude about things you clearly know nothing about. Among those living on the Phoenix site were trained teachers and nurses, who could not afford the high local rents and deposits charged and yet worked in our schools and hospitals. Those working in the units paid rent and were running successful business and employed local people. Aethestically the area maybe didn't suit everyone's taste but that's maybe because the council didn't spend hundreds of thousands of pounds on creating an attractive space for local people preferring to spend it on a private commercial enterprise.
On 14 Feb 2017 at 3:49pm S Theet wrote:
I thought it could have been made into a small art gallery as a replacement for the much missed, (by me anyway) Thebes Gallery. I know it's a small space but so was the Thebes. The Gallery in Castle Ditch Lane isn't that big either but works pretty well within the space it's got. With a car park close by, an art gallery down that end of town might be quite a draw - particularly when it's free to park on Sundays. Punters might even had a cup of something and / or a meal at that adjacent restaurant too.
On 19 Feb 2017 at 8:03pm Hungry man wrote:
It is noticeable that despite Lewes having loads of restaurants, none of them really stand out. They are also mostly Italian so there is little variety. If you try and think where you would take someone for a bit of a special meal there isn't really anywhere. I would probably end up in Brighton which is daft. I find myself increasingly in pubs, where the food is often better.