Sidmouth restaurant owners toast rumours

PUBLISHED: 11:30 09 May 2013

The Rendezvous cafe in Sidmouth. The family run business wishes to stop rumours spreading that they are closing. From the left are Toby Tucker, Lyn Clarke, Stephen Clarke, Louise Clarke, Peter Clarke and Buster the dog. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shs 1019-18-13AW

The Rendezvous cafe in Sidmouth. The family run business wishes to stop rumours spreading that they are closing. From the left are Toby Tucker, Lyn Clarke, Stephen Clarke, Louise Clarke, Peter Clarke and Buster the dog. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shs 1019-18-13AW

Archant

The owners of a family-run Sidmouth restaurant want to scotch rumours they have been bought out by another East Devon business.

Steve and Lyn Clarke bought Brown’s bistro in Fore Street last year and reopened it as an Italian eatery – but it soon became the focus of gossip.

Recently renovated as Rendezvous, the couple have since been battling rumours that it will be taken over by The Railway in Honiton – claims that have wreaked havoc at the restaurant.

Steve said: “People said we went bankrupt and are even signing a contract with them [The Railway] – none of it’s true.

“It’s a difficult time all over because of the weather and the recession, and we’re a new business – you build up a name and want to protect it.”

Diners have been calling Rendezvous about bookings at The Railway, but Steve wanted to make clear there was no link between the two and no truth in the rumours.

He added: “If you want to know what’s going on – come in.”

Jean-Baptist Sancey at The Railway said that as well as causing confusion with customers, the ‘petty’ rumours were quite vicious.

“The owners seem like nice people – I feel sorry for them,” he said.

But the owners of the family business are staying in good humour – and are naming the restaurant’s new upstairs area ‘Rumours’.


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