At the end of May The Kitchen CT9 community cafe in Cliftonville closed its doors for good.
The venue was set up in 2018 by couple Alexander Roarke and Ann Newstead under the umbrella of the Thanet Iceberg Project.
The Cliff Terrace café took surplus food that would otherwise go to waste from local shops and superstores, created a simple menu with affordable prices, and was the first ‘pay what you can’ site in Thanet.
But the couple said the decision to close came as a response to the changing needs of the community. The aim of assisting everyone to be able to afford a meal out is less of a priority at a time of post-pandemic rising household and shopping bills, said father-of-four Roarke.
Instead, the couple said there would be a new venture. And just weeks later, here it is – The Lounge.
Based behind B & Q at the end of Strasbourg Street in Margate (Westwood Business Park), the new coffee shop is a short walk from the Thanet Loop bus stop and, with a more relaxed feel, it a more relaxed feel, there will be a full range of drinks, sandwiches, salads, and snacks.
The doors are due to open to the public for the first time on Wednesday, July 6 at 9am.
Ann Newstead, co-founder of Thanet Iceberg and project lead for The Lounge, said: “We can’t wait to get the doors open and to see all our regulars again.
“Everything has changed, and nothing has changed at the same time. We will be serving the same Kimbo coffee, bottomless tea and coffee pots, sandwiches and toasties but more importantly, we will be offering the same warm welcome, a place of security and the same friendly conversation that people have become used to.”
The venue also boasts a room available for use by local support groups and service providers, furnished in the same “front room” style to offer a relaxed and safe space to their clients.
The Lounge is in the same complex as the other main project run by Thanet Iceberg, The Loft. The Loft provides furniture and white goods to households which are facing extreme circumstances. Taking referrals from social services, local councils, and women’s’ refuges, all the items that they provide have been either donated by the community or built in their workshops.
Roarke said: “I am so pleased that The Lounge is opening next to The Loft. With all of our services based in the same place we will really be able to serve the community to the best of our abilities.”
The Lounge’s opening hours will be Monday – Friday, 9am through to 3pm and if you want to find out more you can visit their website at https://thanetlounge.org