Amble café bar manager hopes for busy summer as he prepares to open after lockdown

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The new manager of an Amble café bar is keen to make up for lost time.

Mark Aberdeen took over Radcliffes at Coble Quay in December and has relied solely on takeaway trade over the past four months.

However, he and his wife, Tracy, are looking forward to reopening outdoors from Monday, April 12, in line with the further easing of Covid-19 restrictions.

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"We’re looking forward to a good summer if all goes to plan,” said Mark. “Many of the people I know who have holiday lets are fully booked already so we hope there will be some spin-off trade from that.”

Mark Aberdeen will reopen Radcliffes for outdoor service on April 12.Mark Aberdeen will reopen Radcliffes for outdoor service on April 12.
Mark Aberdeen will reopen Radcliffes for outdoor service on April 12.

Radcliffes has outdoor space for nine tables of four but, of course, success will be very much weather dependent.

"We’ve got a number of large umbrellas but it’s April so you never know what sort of weather we’ll get,” said Mark.

It will be open all day, serving a breakfast menu and sandwiches from a limited menu before becoming more of a bar in the evenings.

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It is all a big change of scene for Mark, who worked in corporate IT until just before the pandemic struck.

Mark Aberdeen at Radcliffes in Amble.Mark Aberdeen at Radcliffes in Amble.
Mark Aberdeen at Radcliffes in Amble.

"It was towards the end of January last year when I decided I’d had enough and needed a lifestyle change,” he recalled.

"I wasn’t 100% sure what I was going to do but then the opportunity came up to take over Radcliffes and we grasped it with both hands. We feel it has great potential.”

Before taking on the lease, Mark got a feel for the job by working there last summer.

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“During the first lockdown the previous owner closed altogether but when it reopened last summer it did okay,” said Mark. “I did a bit of bar work to get an understanding of how the place worked without anyone knowing.

"We took over on December 1 but then, of course, we went into another lockdown,” said Mark. “We decided to open as a takeaway which has kept things ticking over but it’s been a much longer period than we had anticipated.

"It means we’re really looking forward to reopening outdoors on April 12 and then, hopefully, indoors too from May 17.”

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