Seathorpe Espresso bosses hope for government support

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Bosses of a pop-up cafe that opened on Southend seafront without permission have fought to stay open to eGovernment, after being ordered to tear it down by Southend Council.

Ray and Beverly Clark have appealed to the City Inspectorate to continue running Seathorpe Espessso at 193 Eastern Esplanade.

Southend Council have repeatedly ordered them to demolish the bandstand, but it has remained open and continues to serve hot drinks and snacks.

The companies are now awaiting an inspection and the appeal is expected to be heard in August.

Mr Clark, 59, from Hullbridge, said: ‘We also run our two businesses in London so we are feeling quite exhausted at the moment.

“Business hasn’t been the easiest in Southend because of the weather, but it does well when the weather is better.

We were told that our appeal had been accepted and that the inspection was to visit us in July.

“We hope to have news by the end of August on the decision. We have submitted many supporting documents from neighbors and customers.

“Our London sites in Aldgate and Eastcheap reopened around last August and are doing very well, but we are trying to run all three just with the two of us.”

The Seathorpe Espresso was launched in early 2021, after the Covid pandemic forced Mr Clark to close his two mobile coffee businesses in London.

He added: “All the support for Southend means so much. We try to keep a low profile and do the best we can and support the community.

It’s a lot of hard work for little reward, but I think all the support shows we’re doing a good job in the community.

In January, Southend councilors voted 13 to one to force the firm to close.

The council officers’ report at the time said the company had caused ‘significant harm’ to neighbors in terms of noise and trespassing.

The couple are hoping to see that decision overturned and say it’s just a waiting game while the appeal goes through the process.

Mr. Clark thanked his customers who have supported him and the company over the past year.

He added: “My wife loves it in Southend and is from there so it means a lot to her and she loves working there too.”

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