An Indian restaurant boss has blamed a derelict seafront pub for a dramatic drop in table bookings. Raj Miah says the eyesore Bun Penny site is putting people off eating at The Shad in William Street, which sits opposite the dilapidated building. He was speaking as a homeless couple set up home in the doorway of the blackened pub, describing his frustration at the lack of action since it was gutted by fire in 2011. He said:
“The state of the Bun Penny takes all the attention away from our building, with people just saying how awful the pub looks. What does it say about our town? You see people urinating in the doorstep, and see kids mucking around going inside. It should be the jewel of Herne Bay. Someone should take over it and do it up, either as a pub or some flats. It has been nearly three years and we can’t leave it as it is.”
The pub’s owners submitted a pre-planning application with the council last month, but details of their plans have yet to emerge. Shad manager Frank Lambert said:
“Everyone who walks past the place mentions it. You can hear tourists asking about the state it is in. Our customers are always asking what’s happening with it. All we hear are rumours, the last one being that it’s up for sale.”
Mr Miah added:
“It’s painful to see a homeless couple crashing out on the doorstep. It’s heartbreaking for us and our customers to see. I feel sorry for them because they are struggling to survive. It really affects our business as people are sitting in our restaurant and it puts them off their food.”
Mr Miah says he has even resorted to painting the restaurant a vivid blue and white to ti to divert attention away from the Bun Penny.
Herne Bay Gazette, April 10th 2014