Cafe owners blame lack of government support for closure

Cafe owners blame lack of government support for closure

The owners of a popular Co Down café  have hit out at a lack of government support for the sector as they revealed it had become “impossible to survive”.

Tracey and Matthew Kennedy, who have been running the Owl & Pussycat Café in Hillsborough for the past eight years, said they will close for good at the end of April. The premises will be converted into offices.

The gastrocafé at Orchard Mews served freshly made breakfast and lunch which worked to showcase local suppliers.

“The end of an era,” they said, posting on social media.

“We’ve some sad news to share with you all, Owl & Pussycat Café will open its doors for the last time at the end of April.

“It’s with a lot of different emotions that Matthew & I share this news with you.

“Sadness – that our bustling café and its incredible team of staff will no longer exist, the premises will be changing into offices.

“Frustration – that government don’t seem interested in supporting the hospitality industry, and small businesses in general, and it has become incredibly difficult if not impossible to survive!

“Thankfulness – for all our staff and incredible partners and suppliers that have made Owl & Pussycat the most incredible venue over the years and of course you our wonderful customers!

“Rest – it’s been a rollercoaster 8 years, we look forward to more time for each other & our wonderful kids who many of you have met working behind the counter.

“Possibilities – personally we look to the future with hope and excitement, much of which comes from our Christian faith which has helped us ride out some incredibly challenging times over the years!

“This is a life verse for me and ultimately what keeps me going through tough times such as this:

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

“Your friend, Tracey.”

The news follows a litany of other café closures in recent months.

In February, another Co Down café – Eighty One – announced they would also be closing their doors “for good” after ten and a half years in business, saying the cost of running the café has been “unsustainable”.