Pete’s Eats bought the Bistro on the opposite corner from the café in June 2007. It was run on a temporary basis as a café/bar selling tapas style food whilst further plans were put into place. We also had two holiday flats that slept nine people each.
The intention was to completely renovate the large three storey building, then extend it to the property boundary. The completed building would have provided high standard hostel accommodation for 40 people in units from 3 people up to 10 people all with en suite facilities and a sauna! One large room, two storeys high with retractable seating, would have been used for showing films, as a small music venue and for club dinners etc. There would have also been a relaxed café/bar selling tapas style food.
The drawings, engineers reports, costings, licences, planning permissions etc etc took about 5 months before the final application to the Welsh Assembly could be made. The Assembly was enthusiastic in its support and a 50% grant was offered to the estimated cost of the works of £1.1 million (the purchase of the building was a further £400k, borrowed from the bank).
Unfortunately, despite an original tentative agreement from the bank, the bank declined to offer the matched funding that was needed. The whole project was to be funded by borrowing and grants, secured on the freehold of the Bistro and the café. By the time we were ready to confirm the loan with the bank, the financial climate world wide had drastically changed and the whole project had to be pulled.
Pete had hoped to be able to improve the facilities in Llanberis for locals and visitors alike. This dream rapidly slid into a nightmare affecting his health. By November 2008 bankruptcy for the café was a very real possibility though the bank did help us through this period with considerable help from both the Assembly and Gwynedd Council.
The current position is that we hope to sell the building as we are unable to borrow any money to make the necessary repairs to use even part of it. There are good prospects that it will be sold by the end of the summer – the resulting loss to the café being in the region of £250k.
If a sale is not made Pete’s may look for some external ‘soft’ finance to at least get a basic hostel for 30 people up and running so the building does not deteriorate further. If you are in any way interested please contact Pete by email.