Support Scarborough: The owner of The Hideout speaks about the ups and downs of running a new cafe

In the summer of 2019, following a complete refit of the former Coffee Beans café, the Padgham family opened a brand new café, kitchen and bar, The Hideout, on Columbus Ravine, Scarborough.

By Louise Perrin
Friday, 20th November 2020, 5:24 pm
Updated Friday, 20th November 2020, 5:26 pm
Family Business: Aaron, Jordan and Mike Padgham

They collected an eclectic mix of artefacts and mementos from across the country and created an environment where it is impossible to turn around without noticing something else new and unusual. It certainly makes the place attractive.

It has been a roller coaster ride for the family. Within the first few weeks of opening, two members of staff became new parents, one got rushed into hospital with appendicitis and the team survived a two-hour power cut on opening day.

Combined with a water leak and a gas leak during renovations, the team felt that there was nothing left the world could throw at them.

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Jordan and Mike Padgham outside The Hideout

Then the pandemic hit.

Owner Mike Padgham said: “We thought it would be a couple of years before we would start to break even, but now we’ve extended that.

“We closed on March 23 and reopened the first week that we were allowed. We furloughed staff and no-one lost their job.

Further adaptations came as the government introduced tiered restrictions. Mr Padgham, whose son Jordan runs The Hideout, said: “We reduced the number of

tables to enable social distancing, reduced our hours and politely asked people to leave if they refused to take part in track and trace.

“We made sure there were no parties bigger than six, introduced a hand sanitising station and put a one way system in place.

“All staff members have been wearing masks (unless they are exempt) and we close at 10pm.

“We plan to open upstairs, so people can book a private room. They’ll be themed, so there will be a real library, full of books and a games room. We’re adapting.

“Eat Out to Help Out led to increased demand and hopefully next year a lot more people will holiday in this country.

“The challenge for us is what we can offer local people, but we have to make sure we keep the income coming in.”

Mr Padgham, who is managing director of St Cecelia’s Care Home Group, said: “We offer a discount of 10% to those who work for the NHS and in social care.

“They’re doing an absolutely fantastic job and we wanted to offer something special for them.”

In the run-up to Christmas the cafe had decided to open every day until 10pm except for Christmas Day itself. There were plans for a special menu and to offer gift vouchers.

Lockdown 2 has left those plans in jeopardy and Mr Padgham was quick to admit that the business is having difficulty planning their next move.

He said: “When the second lockdown was announced we decided to shut completely. We took a view that opening for takeaway was going to be more difficult. I just hope that it’s not too long.

“If the lockdown lasts longer than 2nd December then we will review that.

“I’m struggling to see that we’re not going to be in a different tier. We may go into tier three if figures remain as they are.

“We’re taking the view that if we’re in tier three we might think about doing limited takeaway at Christmas.

“We’re hoping that Scarborough people will support local independent businesses.

“You just hope people abide by the rules. Hands - Face - Space. If we knuckle down it might come right by Christmas.

“I’m just telling people to keep safe, we will get out of it eventually.”