Tolbooth St upheaval was final straw

KIRKCALDY;'LANG TOUN CAFE, now closed for business'Photo ; WALTER NEILSON
KIRKCALDY;'LANG TOUN CAFE, now closed for business'Photo ; WALTER NEILSON

CONSTRUCTION work to make way for Kirkcaldy’s new leisure centre has been blamed for the closure of a popular cafe.

The Lang Toun Cafe, based in Tolbooth Street, shut up shop on Saturday after owner Diane Ward finally decided to call it a day.

She took over the running off the business a year ago, but told the Press it had been a struggle to keep it going over the past few months.

And the final nail in the coffin was the closure of the popular Tolbooth Street car park - right next door to her business - to turn it into a swimming pool.

Fife Council originally planned to close it in November, but delayed it until January after retailers warned its loss could damage their crucial festive trade.

But workers ARE on site already doing prepatory work ahead starting the £15m pool and sports centre.

Parking hassles

Diane said: “In the end the only reason I was opening up each day was to pay the staff. The past few months had been difficult due to personal circumstances, but I was managing to keep the business going.

“But when workers moved into the car park, that was it.

‘‘It took away half of my custom. A lot of my elderly customers said they couldn’t get in to park their cars, so they had no way of getting near the cafe. I started ticking them off one by one - it was the final straw.

Losing battle

“My elderly customers were saying they were finding it hard to get near the cafe and when the car park shuts in January, they will stop coming altogether.”

She continued: “I wanted to keep the business going until Christmas.

‘‘I really enjoyed working in the cafe and tried everything I could to keep the business going, but I was fighting a losing battle. It really was a blow to have to close, but I had no option.”

Diane said fortunately all staff have got jobs elsewhere.