A Grantham businessman has bought a cafe, sited opposite his cider bar.
The former Fellows Cafe had operated in Westgate for more than 20 years, but owner Ged McKnight died two years ago and his widow wanted to sell.
David said: “It was a busy cafe close to the cider bar, which made it easy to control them both. I went in and stripped it, completely refurbished it, industrially cleaned it, gave it new decor, new menus, and a new lease of life.”
The premises have a bistro at the front, a restaurant at the back and a courtyard at the side. A large function room upstairs has also been refurbished and is available for children’s parties, wakes and other events. Already, David Kelly, The Private Chef, has booked the function room for a Valentine’s dinner.
The premises closed three weeks for refurbishment, but since re-opening last month, trade is “good and heading in the right direction.”
“We get good feedback and and a great response from the old customers who are flocking back.”
David took over the Apple Tap, sited just over the road in similar circumstances. He was already “associated” with the award-winning bar when “a good friend” launched it five years ago. But when the founder died in 2014, David bought the business from the widow.
In recent months, he has appointed Emma Moulsher as manager, who has been making changes such as introducing bottle beers to add to the range of five ciders on tap and six guest ciders.
It has also started offering cider-based cocktails, plus cider take-aways in flagons. There has been a renovation at the back and a revamp of the ‘beer’ garden should be ready for the summer. It is also launching a range of gins and prosecco.
The Apple Tap worked with Grantham CAMRA to offer the beers and gives discounts to CAMRA members.
David said business is going well but you must “work hard” to achieve it, training staff in customer service. He said of Emma: “She’s given the place a whole new lease of life!”
The lorry fitter by trade also has safety inspection company CVS (Lincs) Ltd and added he has plans for yet another business.