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Coffee shop and cafe planned for Hay’s Dock

Hay's Dock Cafe Restaurant.

A COFFEE shop could open in the Shetland Museum next year before turning into a cafe as bosses look to outsource the former Hay’s Dock Cafe Restaurant.

Shetland Amenity Trust trustees met on Friday to approve a proposal to offer a short-term local tender for a coffee shop in 2019 before issuing a full market tender for a cafe for the provisional period of 2020-25.

Hay’s Dock Cafe Restaurant, located on the upper floor of the Lerwick museum, was closed abruptly in November after continuing to make losses.

Chief executive of owner Shetland Amenity Trust Mat Roberts told trustees that new refreshment provision is needed for when summer season hours start at the museum in the easter.

Trustees agreed that a local tender should go out in January for a 12 month commercial tenant to run a coffee shop using equipment already in the cafe.

A full tender for a cafe operator would then go out on the national market.

Other options considered for the space included reopening Hay’s Dock with an in-house cafe, turning it into a retail/gallery room and converting it into exhibition area and office accommodation.

Roberts said there had been “quite a lot of local interest” in the space since it closed.

“It will be a very simple local tender for a 12 month contract to run a coffee shop style operation that mirrors the museum opening hours, with a view to us then spending next year preparing a full market invitation to tender for a longer term franchise which might involve more elaborate catering,” he added about the next steps in the process.

Hay’s Dock opened in 2007 and it was run by Hay’s Dock Cafe Restaurant Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Shetland Amenity Trust.

Trustees also heard on Friday that wholesalers Grays has agreed to reimburse the trust for unopened alcohol, while town centre bar/restaurant The String will buy some leftover frozen goods.