Hartlepool coffee shop’s big changes as it prepares to come out of lockdown
A popular coffee shop in Hartlepool town centre is making some big changes to be able to reopen to customers.
Independent LilyAnne’s Coffee Bar in Victoria Road has been closed since the lockdown was announced on March 23.
It has used the time to adapt to meet social distancing rules and being extended into the building next door so customers have more space.
Manager Trevor Sherwood is working towards a potential reopening date of Saturday, July 4.
That is the earliest that the Government has said pubs, restaurants, hairdressers, hotels and cinemas could reopen.
During lockdown LilyAnne’s has undergone a full refurbishment of the front of the shop and is extending into Bovis House in partnership with the Poolie Time Exchange project who have recently taken on the lease of the three-storey building.
Three outdoor tables will also be placed in the coffee shop’s private rear car park.
Trevor said: “We have used the time to prepare for the refurbishment and change the way we work so we can open the coffee shop safely.
“Previously, we could only fit four customers inside with social distancing or eight if couples.
“We have extended into the ground floor of Bovis House to create more seating.”
The introduction of a new contactless table service where customers order and pay on their phones will also mean less direct contact with staff.
LilyAnne’s is run as a community interest company (CIC) with the aim of helping people suffering from loneliness and isolation.
It is looking forward to restarting befriending sessions and a Veterans’ Breakfast every Saturday morning.
Trevor, who runs LilyAnne's with assistant manager Angela Arnold and Gemma Shires, added: “I think our customers have probably suffered the most during lockdown.
“Because the government stepped in to help us it has ensured we could effectively press pause and hopefully press replay when we do reopen.
“It has covered the running costs and our landlord has been very helpful as well.
“Because we haven’t seen our customers for so long we’re really excited to see them again.”