Iconic Cheltenham restaurant shut for good and new tenant sought
By Laura Enfield | 1st December 2023
Iconic Cheltenham venue The Daffodil has shut for good and may never reopen as a restaurant.
The owner has confirmed the restaurant will not be reopening and a new tenant is being sought for the venue, with plans to open up the letting to other businesses.
Shocked customers said it was the "end of an era" when the venue abruptly shut its doors last summer.
Bosses had to cancel bookings and issue refunds and blamed the closure on post-Covid pressures and the staffing crisis.
However, it still played host to Cheltenham Literature Festival events last October and sell-out brunch events in December.
Now owner Stuart Braddock has applied to have a condition removed which restricts the use of the premises at 18-20 Suffolk Parade. It was imposed in 1996 as part of the original planning application .
The new application (23/02013/CONDIT) submitted this week said blocking other uses is "no longer appropriate" due to changes in planning rules.
A letter from Mr Braddock's London-based company Croft Capital UK Asset Management Limited said: "The property is being openly marketed for letting. The removal of the sole A3 restaurant use condition may assist in attracting possible alternative occupiers during the marketing process."
Originally built as the town's first cinema in 1922, the four-storey building was opened as a restaurant by Mark Stephens in 1998.
It became known for its stunning art deco interior and glamorous ambience as much as its food.
Considered by many Cheltenham residents as a hidden gem, it found fame after featuring in BBC drama Sherlock and also played host to Prince William.
Its fortunes first wavered in 2016 when the Daily Mail reported the restaurant had closed after a £1.5 million black hole was discovered in the company's accounts.
It reopened the same year and also survived lockdown, undergoing a refurbishment and reopening its doors in February 2022.
The letter said: "The tenant of the property Maybell Investment Limited, have stopped trading at the property effective from 29th November 2023 and will not open for the festive season. The property is now closed and unoccupied.
"This is the second time the property has stopped trading during the last 16 months- previously the property was shut in August 2022 citing staff issues after Covid."
The remaining part of the property at 21 Suffolk Parade is currently vacant and is not part of the new proposal.
In October permission was given for it to be redeveloped as a one-bed house under application (22/01958/P3OPA).
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