Chichester café granted permission to enhance outside seating area

"This outside work will be absolutely fantastic — we can grow our business a lot more now and it will make life a lot easier."

Wednesday, 31st March 2021, 11:34 am

Those were the words of the joint-owner of Fenwicks Café, in Priory Park, which has been granted planning permission to enhance its outside seating area.

Having recently secured a longer lease on the building, owners Dawn and Rob Bunker applied to install two 'very large' parasols and new artificial grass. The plans were approved by Chichester District Council earlier this month.

"With the pandemic, we had to close our inside seating area," Dawn said. "Last summer, we were so dependent on weather and we could only open on days the weather was fine.

The café will reopen for takeaway orders on Thursday but the outdoor seating area will remain closed until April 12, in line with government guidelines. Photo: Steve Robards
The café will reopen for takeaway orders on Thursday but the outdoor seating area will remain closed until April 12, in line with government guidelines. Photo: Steve Robards

"If it was a wet, windy day, there would be no body in the park so it really affected our business.

"We felt we had no choice but to try to get some massive umbrellas. They are both six meters by four meters, covering the majority of our outside area, and they have lights and heaters.

"We have also had new artificial grass laid out outside and we are able to put proper drainage in."

The café will reopen for takeaway orders tomorrow (Thursday) but the outdoor seating area will remain closed until April 12, in line with government guidelines.

Owners Dawn and Rob Bunker applied to install two 'very large' parasols and new artificial grass. Photo: Steve Robards

"Everything will be takeaway initially," Dawn said. "You can take your food and drink into the park. We are running quite a full menu."

Dawn said the new additions will be a 'huge help', adding: "It will so enhance our business.

"It means we can stay open when the weather is bad. We've got new tables coming in as well, which we have ordered.

"We were so limited in space. Mums with buggies will be able to stay outside with tables now.

"Going forward, we will be open seven days a week, 9 to 5. From May, when the umbrella arrives [from Germany], we will start opening in the evenings. We can then stay open until 7.30/8pm

"We will have live music on Fridays and Saturdays. It's the most beautiful place to sit. We have got the best spot in the whole of Chichester for outside areas. We have just had to adapt our business to the pandemic."