Llandrindod cafe one of first victims as closure announced

A LLANDRINDOD Wells café has become one of the first known victims of the “firebreak” lockdown after it announced it will not be reopening next month.

In line with First Minister Mark Drakeford’s announcement on Monday afternoon, all non-essential businesses such as pubs, bars, restaurants, gyms and most shops in Wales will close for two weeks to control the spread of coronavirus from 6pm on Friday. Mr Drakeford said the two-week lockdown is deliberately designed to be “short but very sharp”.

Businesses can reopen again from Monday, November 9, but Aromas Coffee Shop, on Llandrindod’s Middleton Street, won’t be one of them.

Owners have cited lockdown restrictions and a “continuous drop in footfall” over the last few months as the reason for their decision, which is sure to leave many customers of the spa town’s popular café disappointed.

In a statement released on the Aromas Facebook page, owners said: “In line with Monday’s Covid announcement by the Welsh Government Aromas will be closing on Friday, October 23.

“However, we are sorry to say that due to all the restrictions in place and the continuous drop in footfall over the last few months, we have now taken the decision to close on a permanent basis. We will not be reopening on November 9.”

As well as the current shutting of shops across Wales, Aromas was one of many thousands of businesses throughout Wales that closed in March. They reopened after a five-month lull on August 11, with reduced hours and a reduced menu, as well as with a slew of strict new social distancing guidelines to follow.

But this second lockdown has left them in the dire position of having to shut up shop permanently – a fear facing many other retailers and restaurant owners on high streets throughout Mid Wales as the harsh winter months loom.

“We would, however, like to take this opportunity to thank all our wonderful customers for their support over the past few years, it has been a pleasure serving you and we wish you all the best for the future,” the Aromas statement went on.

“We would also like to thank our amazing staff for all of their hard work and loyalty, especially over the last few months as it has been very challenging at times, but they have continued to support each other as an amazing team.

“We wish everyone a safe lockdown over the next two weeks and hopefully we will all be able to return to some kind of normality next year. Stay safe and thank you.”

County Times | Llandrindod Wells & Rhayader