Café operator hits back at criticism

C130133-1 Bog Jan31 Cafe  phot kate''Cafe owner Olive Burrows-Patrick outside Ollie's in Waterloo Square.Picture by Kate Shemilt C130133-1
C130133-1 Bog Jan31 Cafe phot kate''Cafe owner Olive Burrows-Patrick outside Ollie's in Waterloo Square.Picture by Kate Shemilt C130133-1
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CAFÉ operator Olive Burrows-Patrick has defended her business over claims its building is grotty.

Mrs Burrows-Patrick said she had invested £50,000 into the enterprise since she took over Ollie’s Café at Waterloo Square.

“This is my sixth year here and this is an absolutely solid building,” she said.

“There’s no way it is the prefab it has been described as.

“The leisure consultant who said that has not even been in here to speak to me or for a cup of tea.

“If he had, he wold have seen what a nice place it is and what a lovely view we have.

“He shouldn’t have knocked something which he had not tried.

“He would have seen it’s not falling down. I have put a lot into this building and it has a proper, professional kitchen.

“We can serve hundreds of customers a day when we are really busy in the summer.”

Mrs Burrows-Patrick took on the café after she saw its lease advertised.

She renewed last year to take her until 2016.

Her business occupies the first floor of the building at the northern end of the public bowling greens. She has 44 indoor seats and 20 on an outdoor terrace.

The ground floor is used by the bowling clubs.

The two floors used to be linked but they were separated by the owner, Arun District Council, many years ago.

The look of the building in its prominent site was criticised by David Geddes, who was taken on by the council to suggest a new future for leisure in the district.

He stated Waterloo Square was a prime example of the shabbiness of the seafront, as reported.

He said: It needs to smarten up and one place that needs to smarten up is Waterloo Square.

“The present bowlers’ building is an awful, grotty prefabricated building. It’s not nice.

“It can be improved by replacing its relatively nasty clubhouse.”

But Mrs Burrows-Patrick, 67, said yesterday her business was far removed from that damning description.

“People love coming here,” she said.

“I had a party of 31 from Butlin’s for breakfast the other day because they had been recommended to come here.”

She said the business had more potential than she was able to meet.

One expansion was to revive the popular bistro nights on Fridays and Saturdays which became too much for her to hold.

She has five part-time staff.