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Business / ‘The expectations were beyond high’: new café opens in Solotti’s building

Big smiles after a successful opening day on Saturday (left to right): Shona Wilburne, Charlotte Schofield, Christiane Klang, Caroline Klang and Peter Klang. Photo: Hans J Marter/Shetland News

“QUITE relieved, most definitely…I would say I was almost borderline anxious,” a smiling Peter Klang responds when asked how he feels after finishing the first shift in a new venture that seeks to keep a Shetland institution alive.

Pete’s Café and Takeaway opened on Saturday morning in the former Solotti’s building on Commercial Street.

“The expectations were beyond high, (the famous ice creams floats are coming back …) [and] delivering on that level is a bit of a challenges,” the hospitality professional, originally from Germany, says said as he summed up what he and his family have taken on.

He hopes he and his wife Christiane have found the right blend of tradition and modernity that will appeal to locals and visitors alike.

“Opening a café is not rocket science,” he said, “but this is not the typical café.

“This is not a Costa or Starbucks which you will find everywhere; they are interchangeable and on a consistent high-quality level. You go there and you know what to expect.

“But here it is entirely different because you have that history associated with the place, and then, of course, the expectations playing in.

“Opening a café was not the challenge, but trying to build a bridge between Solotti’s in the past, then Brenda’s place until quite recently, to what we want to create here.”

After serving hundreds of customers on a busy Saturday there will only be time for a short breather on Sunday before the café opens its doors again on Monday at 8am.

Formerly Solotti’s, the cafe ran under the name Faerdie Maet for a number of years before that business closed in late 2022.

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