SPRING is coming and one of the best places to appreciate it is the Botanical Gardens.
But there is little sign at the moment of being able to enjoy it with a tea or coffee and a bite to eat in the cafe and restaurant at the Clarkehouse Road entrance.
The Curator’s House cafe and restaurant has been closed for four months, to the frustration of customers and the council.
New tenants were lined up by the council after the expiry of a ten year lease. However, switchover details have yet to be resolved, and the authority says no alternative catering can be provided in the meantime.
Paul Billington, the council’s Director of Culture and Environment, said: “The city council is disappointed that the Curator’s House has remained closed since last November, when the previous ten-year lease ended.
“The council is the landlord of the restaurant and tea room and, following a competitive tender process, a new private business has been selected to take over the operation of the premises.
“However, the resulting switch between the former business and the new business has resulted in delays beyond the council’s control.
“The city council continues to actively explore ways in which to progress the issue and we remain determined to get the facility re-opened to the public as soon as possible.
“Finally, it is not legally possible to deliver alternative catering arrangements until the outstanding issues between the two businesses are resolved.”
Mr Billington added: “The council recognises the importance of this service to visitors and will press for the earliest possible solution to the current situation.”