The keys have been handed over to the new operators of long-anticipated park Swiss Tea Rooms.
The handover marks the completion of the brand-new building and the countdown to get the former Swiss Tea Rooms, at Belper River Gardens, open in time for the start of Spring.
Deep Beat Entertainment were chosen as the new operators, following a selection process by Amber Valley Borough Council, and Park Life at the Swiss Tea Rooms will be the firm’s 12th Park Life unit to open nationally.
The Tea Rooms were a fixture in the gardens from 1906, but they became derelict in 1981.
The site was cleared in recent years, and a smart new facility, that replicates the style of the former building, now stands on the spot.
The new venue, which will be open seven days a week, will create 20 jobs and the core menu will be focussed on local produce.
Amy Campbell, head of marketing at Deep Beat Entertainment, said such was the anticipation, her team had received questions on social media daily, asking for an opening date.
She added: "It’s an absolutely beautiful location. When considering applying for a contract and undertaking preliminary research, our teams visited the River Gardens and found it was such an idyllic spot, with so much potential."
Work is now underway to fit a bespoke counter unit, which will form the focal point of the cafe, as well as the kitchen, and then furniture and decor. There will also be a kiosk facing onto the children’s area of the park, replicating the 'grab and go' ice cream and milkshake service of Deep Beat’s temporary chalet which has been in the park throughout 2021.
Amy praised Amber Valley Borough Council for its support in helping to bring the Tea Rooms to life.
"It’s so lovely to be backed by such a supportive team of people that have really allowed us to engage with the community on our own level and have trusted us with that.
"That’s something we really value - to be able to make our own connections with the community. It’s a great relationship so far. We look forward to working with them on the cafe launch, and next season and the ongoing cafe development."
Councillor Tony Harper, the council’s cabinet portfolio holder for Regeneration and Community Safety, handed the keys to the tea rooms’ general manager, Darren Steels.
Councillor Harper said: "We are delighted that the building is now complete and we have handed the keys over to the operator.
"We now anticipate February being a period of time where there will be fitting out of the building, with plans to open in Spring.
"It’s a beautiful building, with a lovely vista of the River Derwent. We are excited to finally see this coming forward - it’s great for the community and for visitors."
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