Cafe blaze owners fear for future as visitors slump

Cafe was destroyed (c) Ellie Kabamba

The owners of a popular coastal cafe that was completely destroyed by fire last month are appealing to their customers to continue to support the business.

Kingston couple Andy and Angela Burnett were “devastated” when the Tee Shack Cafe at the Covesea Links between Lossiemouth and Hopeman caught fire in June.

Since its opening five years ago the Cafe has proven to be one of the most popular venues for tourists and locals – now its owners say that while they intend rebuilding the cafe they are very concerned at the fall in business on the nine-hole golf course since the blaze.

They believe that people think that the golf links themselves have been closed as well as the cafe – and that has resulted in a marked fall in the number of visitors from an average of 100 a day to just two players over a three-day period last week.

Mr Burnett said: “With the weather as it is at the moment we should be really busy – but we are the exact opposite.

“The fire has been a disaster for us – especially as so much work went into building up the course and the cafe. The cafe was incredibly popular not just with golfers but with families, pensioners and people who had never played a round of golf in their lives.”

Around 30 firefighters fought the blaze on the evening of June 19 but they could not save the Tee Shack. However, while the destruction of the cafe caused a brief temporary closure of the nine-hole golf links it was business as usual the following week.

The couple now hope to just survive through the winter before rebuilding the cafe when insurance money is received.

Mr Burnett has owned the site for ten years, saying he “fell in love” with the picturesque site as soon as he saw it. “A lot of hard work has gone into this business and I just hope that things pick up soon.

“The only good news to come out of this is that the 10 part-time staff we had at the cafe have all found other jobs.”

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