A new rendezvous for Sidmouth cafe owners

Steve and Lyn Clarke will be moving to a pub in Colaton Raleigh. Picture: Simon Horn

Steve and Lyn Clarke will be moving to a pub in Colaton Raleigh. Picture: Simon Horn - Credit: Archant

The owners of a Sidmouth café are on the move to a pub in Colaton Raleigh.

In a move which they hope to complete by Christmas, the owners of The Rendezvous in Sidmouth are to take over The Otter Inn.

Located in Colaton Raleigh, the pub is to undergo a major revamp.

Owner Steve Clarke is excited about the move.

He said: “We’re going to be four, five times the size restaurant wise. That’s what we’re heading for.”

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Steve, along with wife Lyn, gets the keys in November with the hope of being open for Christmas.

“We’re opening with a bang,” he said.

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“Two new bars - a front bar which serves the beers and spirits and then we’re going to turn the next one down into a bit of a wine bar.”

The revamp is a major operation, and one which will continue well past Christmas, but Steve and Lyn are hoping the public understand.

Steve said: “There are a few problems with it which we’ll get sorted.

“I hope people bear with.

“We hope the villagers in Colaton Raleigh will be happy with what we’re doing and we hope others will come out and give us a whirl.”

Steve and Lyn have used local firm A&J Carpenters to help refurbish the new place but are looking for local chefs to get in touch.

Steve said: “If anyone wants to come and spend the day with us or would like to be trained by all means contact us. We are looking for chefs.”

Asked about their thoughts on leaving Sidmouth town centre, they expressed sadness but said a move made sense financially.

Steve said: “We’re being squeezed and squeezed. They’re asking for more rent. They’re asking for more rates. Then the gas goes up then the electrics go up and then you’ve got food prices.”

He also cited a lack of work on the surrounding area, including repairs needing to be done in the high street by the council.

“The opportunity arose to take over The Otter and we jumped at the chance,” he said.

“The way the highways have been, shops are shutting. You’ve seen how many are going now. It’s affordability.”

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