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Business / Questions over future of Cornerstone cafe as impact of coronavirus crisis continues

Owner Terry McCaffrey concedes he may have to make some ‘harsh decisions’ following months of closure during pandemic

The Cornerstone cafe/restaurant in Scalloway. Photo: Peter Johnson/Shetland News

THE OWNER of the Cornerstone cafe in Scalloway has conceded there are serious question marks over the future of the business as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Terry McCaffrey said he would be speaking to his family and staff over the weekend as he assesses the financial viability of the business.

He said he was “willing to subsidise it up to a point” – but he may have to now make some “harsh decisions”.

It comes despite the cafe securing a licence to allow people to drink alcohol outside the building from Monday (6 July) as lockdown restrictions relax.

Scalloway cafe given go-ahead to serve alcohol outdoors

Cafes and restaurants have been closed since March, although the Cornerstone recently opened up for takeaways.

McCaffrey said on Friday afternoon that there is “certainly a question whether today is the last of trading for the Cornerstone”.

He is in the process of looking through regulations and guidance over how things may look once restrictions ease.

“I’ll be doing everything to try and justify keeping it open,” he added.

There are currently eight staff on the books, both part-time and full-time.

McCaffrey said the last few months have been “very hard” for the business.

“The overheads keep coming in,” he added. “I can subsidise it up to a point, but when I can’t cover my overheads then I see no-long term future for it at the moment.

“It depends on now what kind of regulations there will be.”

He admitted that social distancing will be “very hard to police”.

“I’m just another statistic of the hotel and catering business which has been pulled down across the country, if it does close,” McCaffrey added.

“At the moment I can see no other way than closing before it becomes a complete financial burden on us.”

Earlier this year the Scalloway Hotel closed with the loss of 17 jobs.

The Scalloway Meat Company shop and butchery, as well as Da Kiln bar, are also on the market for varying reasons.

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