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Former Blackbirds cafe may re-open as a bistro

By Mid Devon Gazette  |  Posted: December 24, 2012

By Richard Wevill

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THE premises occupied by a popular Tiverton tea room which closed nearly a year ago are set to re-open as a bistro.

The former Four and Twenty Blackbirds tea shop in Gold Street will be extensively refitted by the new proprietors.

The Four and Twenty Blackbirds was renowned for its traditional tea room feel, with waitress service and a cosy atmosphere, but the new managers are aiming to provide a more modern offering.

Behind the plans to reopen the premises are Jan and Beverley Wheatley, who run Mademoiselle Mojos, a fashion boutique which is also based in Gold Street. The description submitted with a licensing application for the premises says it is a Grade II-listed building and will serve food and drink on two floors.

The premises are close to a number of other food outlets as well as the police station at Lowman Green.

The applicants say they will create a "bistro-type environment" with room for around 35 customers.

Adding to this ambience, the Wheatleys' have indicated they will play some recorded background music at the venue, as well as some 'live unamplified' music, chiefly light jazz piano.

The applicants also expressed an interest in introducing some limited outdoor seating, though councillors at Tiverton Town Council's planning meeting on Monday, December 17, questioned whether there would be enough space to do this effectively.

The licence application if granted would be valid from February 1, but the opening of the new business could be later as there was still a good deal of work required on the premises.

Jan Wheatley said: "Gold Street is very close to our hearts because we live and work there, so we want to make sure that when it does re-open it complements every thing else that goes on the street."

The Four and Twenty Blackbirds closed in January this year, much to the dismay of former manager Sally Steer and some of the tearoom's loyal customers.

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