Concerns have been raised over the future of the cafe at one of Leamington’s most iconic buildings less than a year after it was re-opened under new management.
In January, Warwick District Council announced a new catering contract agreed as part of its partnership with Complex Development Projects (CDP) and CDP then brought in provider Just Inspire to manage the café at the Royal Pump Rooms along with the annex and assembly rooms at the historic venue and the Glasshouse Restaurant in Jephson Gardens .
This was part of the council and CDP’s wider plans to develop a Creative Quarter at buildings and sites in
and around the south of the town.
But this week the council confirmed that the café is currently closed and new tenants are being sought.
A council spokeswoman said: “Warwick District Council is currently seeking new tenants for the Royal Pump Rooms Café.
“Expressions of interest will be submitted by the end of November and a new tenant selected in December with the aim of re-opening
as soon as possible.”
The council has also confirmed that Just Inspire are continuing to manage the Glasshouse Restaurant .
The restaurant was open over the summer with Just Inspire holding a series of dining experiences there called Summer @ The Glasshouse.
However, the council’s ambitions for the venue to be fully operational and used for its original purpose as a ‘brasserie-style’ restaurant opening for both lunchtime service and evening meals are yet to have been realised at this stage.
The council spokeswoman said: “Just Inspire are still managing the Glasshouse.
“It is being run as an events space.”
The council spent £300,000 to refurbish the interior of the Pump Rooms, including the toilets, to make the building – which houses Leamington Art Gallery and Museum, Leamington Library and the town’s Tourist Information desk – more appealing to visitors.
In order to increase levels of trade at the café, Just Inspire wanted to re-open the entrances under the under the colonnade at either end of the building to make the café more visible to the public and to “drive-up footfall”.
A spokesman for Complex Development Projects said: “Our sub-contractor Just Inspire Hospitality & Event Management is still running the Glasshouse restaurant in Jephson Gardens on a function basis.
“Since the Pump Rooms no longer forms part of the Creative Quarter plans, it has now reverted to the control of Warwick District Council.”