Sadness as ‘exceptional’ Nottinghamshire cafe closes after liquidation

An ‘exceptional’ cafe which provided a lifeline to vulnerable people during the Covid pandemic has been forced to close after going into liquidation. The Carriages Cafe was popular with customers for its breakfasts and afternoon tea served in a nostalgic steam punk setting.

Even before the 2020 lockdowns, he did his part by running a regular community cafe offering a three-course meal for just £3 for those who needed it most. But it’s become a tour de force during the pandemic, providing hundreds of two-course meals to ensure the most vulnerable and isolated don’t go hungry during the crisis.

The cafe opened in 2017 after a £500,000 renovation of a former Victorian ticket office and waiting rooms on the platform at Newark Castle station. The building, which had been a wine bar, was in disrepair but has been brought back to life with Wendy Baird and her daughter Abigail at the helm.

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When they reopened the cafe after the lockdown they found that many people were too worried to go out for their usual coffee and cake or lunch so they reduced the opening hours but faced the rudeness from some who said they should be open.

They announced the sudden closure on Facebook, saying, “It is with heavy hearts that we say goodbye to Carriages Cafe. A ‘perfect storm’ of events has forced us into liquidation and today we have locked the door for the very last time. Thank you for your love and support over the past six years.”

Dozens of people responded to the sad news. One described them as ‘a lifeline for so many thanks to Covid’. One customer said: “So sorry to hear that. The carriages were such a beautiful place that oozed the passion of the team. We wish you all the best for you all and we will always have wonderful memories. from when we came to cars.

Others have described the cafe as “outstanding” and “fabulous” while the closure is a “huge loss” for the city. So sorry to hear that. Thank you for bringing style and elegance to Newark Castle. You will be missed by many,” said another.

Wendy and Abigail focus on their new business Tree Juice Bar and Wellbeing Studios, on Stodman Street in Newark, which remains open.

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