The tenant who has run Bath’s Royal Pavilion Café for more than three decades has announced he is closing next month.
The popular café in Royal Victoria Park overlooks the tennis courts, where Bath on Ice and Bath on the Beach are located each year.
Writing on Facebook, George Lippiatt said: “I am sad to report that after 32 years the café is closing down. My lease ends soon and the council are not renewing it. Our last day will be Sunday 18th February.”
A petition was set up last Friday by loyal customers, saying the café is a piece of Bath’s heritage and not only serves as a social hub but also contributes significantly to the city’s economy.
So far it has been signed by more than 400 people.
Cllr Alison Born, cabinet member for adult services at Bath & North East Somerset Council, said: “We are currently looking to procure a new provider or providers for the leisure and café provision at Royal Victoria Park Pavilion, to provide even better facilities for the community and to ensure value for money for the council.
“As part of this process, we invited the current tenants to submit proposals to us to renew their leases.
“Potential operators will need to continue to provide a café, tennis and crazy golf, as well as submit proposals for other activities such as ice skating and other events.
“We will update residents on the outcome of the procurement exercise once it has been completed.”
In response to concerns on social media, Cllr Mark Elliot, the cabinet member for resources, added: “The café is not being closed. The lease was up for renewal.
“The council is required at that point to put the lease out to commercial tender which is what has been happening.”
He added: “This is just a normal part of council business when a lease comes to an end. This is not the council cutting anything or stopping anything.”