As most of you will know, the Castle has grown in popularity in the last couple of years and has been busier than ever before. The centre has also grown in size providing more climbing facilities to keep pace with the number of visitors we receive each day. However the one area that hasn’t grown in size is the café. A victim of its own success, the café has become very popular with both regulars and non-climbing visitors, getting busier year on year without expanding to make space for all these extra customers.
Even before we conducted our customer survey and listened to what you had to say about the cafe, we were aware of the struggle we have to accommodate everyone. There’s not enough seating, there’s a lack of work space to prep food whilst our procedures for heating and serving food is laborious and not great, having to use microwaves.
So how do we create a bigger, better café without losing some of the climbing?
How about the Pirates Playhouse you ask? (See, we do listen!). As some of you will already know, we recently acquired the Pirates Playhouse. When it came to deciding its use we thought long and hard about whether to put the café over there. However, when it came down to it, the climbing is the most important thing and we desperately need more space to accommodate everyone who wants to climb here alongside our courses and kids clubs.
The café is at the heart of the centre.
We also didn’t want to segregate the café from the main centre; it’s the heart of the building and many people visit our café just to experience the space and soak up the history and atmosphere. So with the help of a design team we’ve come up with a solution which we hope will work. The area we’re working with is still the same but with some clever design to help streamline and a mezzanine floor for more seating we’re hoping to improve the café experience.
Café Closure during refurbishments
The Café will officially close on 8th August 2016
Expected to re-open October 2016
Coffee Bar (located next to Reception): serving hot & cold drinks; crisps & snacks
Open daily: Weekdays – 12pm till 9.20pmWeekends – 12pm till 5pm
Roundhouse (located in the Garden): serving hot food; pizzas, paellas and more
Open daily: Weekdays – 5pm till 9pm Weekends – 12pm till 5pm
New Lead Lines
As if we haven’t taken on enough work redeveloping the café AND simultaneously running an outdoor café, we thought we’d replace some walls whilst we’re at it!
The lead wall opposite the cafe is one of the oldest walls in the centre and is need of some TLC. It’s a dark dingy area that needs refreshing to bring it up-to-date. Lines 19 to 28 will be rebuilt with fresh new designs including both vertical and varying degrees of overhanging walls.
The wall will be out of action from 8th September but we will have it back up and running by the beginning of October, ready for the long winter months of training ahead.
During this time lines 12 to 15 will remain open but please bear in mind there will be some building noise throughout the day.