'From the bottom of our hearts, thank you' - Leith Walk Café owners leave farewell message

A poignant farewell message to customers has been left outside the Leith Walk Café ahead of their final day of service on Wednesday.

Tuesday, 16th July 2019, 6:50 pm
Leith Walk Cafe
Leith Walk Cafe

For the past six decades the café has been trading in the exact same spot on Leith Walk but the building's owners, Drum Property Group (DPG), want to demolish the existing block and build student flats as part of a redevelopment.

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Leith Walk Cafe owner makes last ditch plea to halt Drum Property closure plans

DPG has used a break clause in the current 10-year lease to kick out Charlotte Lloyd, who runs Leith Walk Café with her sister Lorraine.

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It means the café, a haven for some of Edinburgh's most vulnerable people, will have its last day of service on Wednesday, July 17th.

The Save Leith Walk campaign group, which has been leading efforts to preserve the building, shared a picture on twitter showing the cafe's message.

The message, also posted on café's own Facebook page, read: "Dearest Leithers (whether born and bred or visitors), Thank you all for supporting us in our wee corner of Leith Walk.

"We have laughed, cried, lost precious family and friends while we have been here.

"But through it all we were here for each other. From the bottom of our hearts, Thank you."

The message was signed by members of staff, including owners Charlotte Lloyd and her sister, Lorraine.

In January, DPG’s plans were thrown out by the City of Edinburgh Council however the developer has lodged an appeal and continued to clear the building of tenants. In addition, it has ignored a clear directive from the Council to work with the community on a shared vision for the site.

The owners of popular bar and music venue Leith Depot - also in the building - have vowed to fight "tooth and nail" against the property developer's plans to shut them down.

The venue has been open for nearly four years but they have been told by DPG that their lease will end on October 1st.

A spokesman for Leith Depot told the Evening News previously that they are asking to be able to remain trading until a decision is made by the Scottish Government reporter appointed to handle the appeal.

DPG has said previously that, since purchasing the site, the company has worked hard to respond to the council's brief to bring new investment and development to a "neglected part of Leith Walk."

The company has said the proposal was shaped by consultation with local people and businesses and received lots of public support.

They have also said that remaining tenants have had more than a year's notice to vacate and that they've made it clear there won't be any contractual extensions to their tenancies.