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Rose Garden Café set for festive reopening

Cafe building with scaffold propping to the exterior, a garden is in front

Following further survey investigations and construction work to secure the site, the Rose Garden Café at Graves Park is set for a festive reopening, as a takeaway facility later this week.

The café was closed in July due to serious structural safety issues and since then the council has been working with the operator, local Friends of group and campaigners to establish the options for the building going forward.

The building required significant propping work to allow further surveys, and to explore the possibility of reopening. Essential safety and propping work was completed throughout October and November and a range of surveys have also been completed.

Operator, Brewkitchen, have inspected the building and are confident that they can run the café as a takeaway facility with the propping in place, and are now readying the building for reopening.

Sheffield City Council has carried out internal construction work to allow for this, making it a safe environment for staff and visitors.

Brewkitchen will reopen from Thursday 22 December on an ongoing temporary basis.

Councillor Bryan Lodge, Chair of Charity Trustee Sub-Committee, said:

“It’s fantastic news that the Rose Garden Café will reopen before Christmas, allowing staff to get back into the café and giving people the chance to get a winter warmer and a bite to eat when visiting the park.

“We know this has been a difficult time for everyone affected and it is in no way what we wanted to happen. We regret that the café has been closed for so many weeks, but as the surveys have shown, the building standalone was not structurally sound, and public safety is not a risk we’re willing to take here.

“We’re grateful to Brewkitchen, their staff, the Friends of Group and campaigners for their patience during this process, and for their support and determination to get this community facility back open.”

Building requirements to allow for reopening have been met or are in progress, which will see the café open its doors again at 9.30am on on Thursday 22 December.

Simon Webster at Brewkitchen said:

“We’re thrilled to be reopening Rose Garden Cafe before the holidays, a time when families and friends enjoy being together.  Graves Park is a popular destination at this time of year, and we’re working hard to ensure the cafe is welcoming for visitors.  We’ll be serving a range of hot and cold drinks, cakes, confectionary, breakfast pastries, savoury bakes plus homemade soup, and we’ll add to the menu soon.

“We’ve been blown away by the support we have received, and we’re really excited to see the regular faces that we’ve missed so much and serve the community again. The café has always been the hub of the park and the support we’ve received has been heart-warming, thank you.”

Extensive propping and safety corridors have been installed inside the cafe

8 surveys have been completed to assess the whole of the site. The results of these are being considered in detail to determine the viable options for the long-term future of the site, before these are scoped out further in readiness for public consultation. 

Cllr Lodge added:

“We’re now looking in more detail at the survey results to help inform the long-term options for the café building. We remain openminded to what’s possible and will keep working closely with local interested parties.

“Just as people look back fondly on the times they have spent in the café with their children and grandchildren, we need to make sure that any investment goes into a long-lasting facility that can be enjoyed by families for generations to come.”

More information, including a timeline of associated events, copies of survey results, information about finance and the charitable trust and copies of Freedom of Information requests can be found on the Council’s Rose Garden Café closure webpage.

Consultation with local people and stakeholders will take place once options have been explored further and will be publicised once available for comment.