The café, located within the atmospheric vaulted undercroft of Coventry’s historic St Mary’s Guildhall, is to reopen its doors to customers tomorrow (6 March).
In recognition of the building’s history, and referencing the café’s unique location, the café has been renamed ‘The Undercroft at St Mary’s’.
Ideally located in the heart of the city’s Cathedral quarter and close to the city’s central shopping areas, The Undercroft at St Mary’s, welcomes those looking to enjoy quality food in a beautiful and relaxed historic setting.
It will also look to benefit from an increase in the number of city centre visitors and from employees of the many businesses based within the city centre. In the longer term it will be well prepared to meet the needs of the extra visitors expected from ongoing plans to increase the profile and access to St Mary’s Guildhall itself.
Ahead of the reopening, The Undercroft, which will also offer users free Wi-Fi, has undergone a refresh and small refurbishment, including improvements to the main entrance, better lighting, new signage and a revamped menu. There’s also fantastic new colouring sheets for children which are based on some historical characters associated with the building.
Following the reopening of The Undercroft, Council Members and Officers will be looking at the wider vision as a priority, including public access and the marketing of St Mary’s Guildhall itself, as Councillor Jim O’Boyle, Cabinet Member for Jobs and Regeneration said:
“Whilst it’s pleasing to see The Undercroft open again with a great new menu its real success will come once it and the Guildhall, arguably the best in the country, are open more often – making them more accessible for all.
The fact is, at the moment it is a cost burden for the local authority and that is not in the interests of Coventry council taxpayers.
“Yes we have to protect it but, if people want access to it, it has to be open more often and run on a professional basis and run at a profit and clearly I hope The Undercroft can play a part in this.
“I have been calling for more to be done with the Guildhall for a long time. I have asked Council officers to come up with proposals and we are working on a plan for that.
“I am absolutely certain that the Guildhall and The Undercroft must and will play a play a key part in the city’s daytime and night-time economy and central to this is that this building is kept up to standard and is accessible to the public. Our wonderful historic buildings can contribute economically and that what I’m pushing for.”
People can enjoy a relaxed setting and quality freshly prepared food for brunch, light snacks, hearty lunches, or coffee and cake – all cooked in the same medieval kitchens that have catered for royalty and civic dignitaries for nearly 700 years.
In the meantime as part of the plan to encourage more customers, the café will also be operating new opening hours from 9.30 to 4.00, Monday to Friday. Outdoor seating will also be available when weather allows.
A loyalty card scheme is also being introduced to actively encourage repeat visits and bring family, friends and colleagues to the venue.
St Mary’s Guildhall and The Undercroft are entered from the charming, cobbled Bayley Lane, opposite the old Cathedral ruins.
The venue also endeavours to use locally sourced and Fairtrade products where available. Children can choose from their own Mini Merchants menu, and high chairs are available for our youngest guests. Special dietary requirements can be catered for and vegetarian options are always included on our menus.
Tables can be booked in advance - just contact 024 7683 3315 - or use the online table bookings form available at www.stmarysguildhall.co.uk where people can also keep up to date on special offers.