15:41 15 June 2022
Cafe boss Andy Maul has been inundated with messages of support after he – and his 15 staff – were locked out of his premises the day after his move was announced.
“Due to issues with our current landlord and his landlord, we are unable to access our premises today,” the Wisbech cafe entrepreneur and Fenland adviser posted on Facebook on Tuesday.
“This should be resolved within 24 hours and we will update you when we can serve our customers again.”
But on Tuesday night Andy revealed the lockdown was permanent and his Hill Street cafe was permanently closed.
He is now focused on a quicker-than-expected move to take over the clubhouse of Wisbech Town Football Club, the new home of his Bygones cafe and home delivery service.
Andy hopes that “with the wind blowing in the right direction” he will be able to continue home deliveries from next week.
He said that side of the business had grown significantly during Covid and he had three drivers who delivered home cooked meals to his customers daily.
On Tuesday, all were personally visited by Bygones staff to assure them that the delivery business – which now accounts for half of its business – is returning soon,
Andy admitted that the Hill Street lease issue had created a “precarious situation” and discussions with the tenant’s lawyers had not resulted in a solution.
He said he had permission to re-enter the property to move his catering equipment to the Lynn Road stadium.
“Wisbech Town FC are very close to my heart and they have big ambitions for the club,” he said. “They are trying to build something and I want to be part of it.”
This could mean, for example, evening shows, comedy and music nights and it will also explore Sunday grilling.
“Hopefully people will keep seeing or we’ll bring them our food,” he added.
Andy said: “Bygones has been a part of Wisbech for many years, and for our 30th year we will be moving to larger premises which will offer so much more to our valued customers and staff.”
“My job is to preserve the business and continue to provide the services we provide.”