The takeaway at Whitby’s Magpie Cafe has reopened although it looks set to be several months still before the restaurant is up and running again.
The popular chippy closed two months ago after two fires ripped through it over the May Bank Holiday weekend.
The news that the takeaway was frying once again was announced on the restaurant’s Twitter page early Saturday morning and was greeted by scores of messages of good luck and congratulations.
Hundreds turned out on the day as it was back to business for the harbourside chippy. Chef proprietor Ian Robson comments: “It felt good to get the takeaway up and running and it’s a positive step forward for us. Trade was very good and we were quite surprised at how busy we were. I’m not sure exactly how many customers we served, but it wasn’t far off a normal Saturday for us.
“Once we announced the reopening of the takeaway, the response on social media was unbelievable and so overwhelming. A lot of the regulars that use the restaurant and the takeaway came down to have fish and chips, it’s just been amazing the support we’ve had.”
Trade was only hampered by a lack of card payment facilities as there is still no internet access to the building.
While repairs to the restaurant are on-going, it is hoped that work will be complete by early autumn, with Ian adding: “All being well, we hope to open the restaurant by mid to late September. The fire was at roof level but it was so intense that there was a lot of water damage and we’ve had to go back to brick work. So it is a major rebuild.
“The opening of the takeaway has been a hugely positive step for us but we’ll all feel a lot happier when things start going back in rather than coming out of the building, which is where we are still at at the moment.”
Current plans are to keep the interior very much as it was before the fire, with Ian adding: “We’ll maybe make a few tweaks but, on the whole, it worked and people liked the look so why change something that was working absolutely fine."
The cause of the fire is still unknown.