A Stonehaven café that had persevered through lockdown with a takeaway service only to be severely damaged by flooding in early August has finally reopened to customers.
Shamrock and Thistle, located at Stonehaven’s Arbuthnott Place, had been offering crepes, cakes, waffles and other assorted fine pieces amidst the restrictions earlier this year, as a takeaway and without sit-in facilities.
But on August 12, after a night of torrential rain and thunderstorms, major flooding impacted communities all across Aberdeenshire, including Stonehaven, where some streets were left completely underwater.
Serious problems were experienced in a number of areas, including Arbuthnott Place, Arbuthnott Street, Salmon Lane and Barclay Street.
Unfortunately for the owners of Shamrock and Thistle, the premises were badly impacted by the rising floodwaters and the business had to be shut completely.
But yesterday, after months of hard work to dry out the building and repair all the damage caused by the storms, the café reopened to customers.
A sit-in service is finally being offered again for the first time since the initial lockdown was imposed in March.
Gerard Browne has been running the café for more than three years.
He said: “We opened for takeaway in June and it was going fine until the flooding in August.
“The place was totally soaked and there was quite substantial damage.
“There was a lot of water so we had to rip up all the flooring and our furniture had to be thrown out.
“We also lost a lot of stock in the garage and some fridges and freezers had to be binned as well.”
A £16 million scheme to protect people in Stonehaven from flooding is currently under construction.
Mr Browne added: “It’s exciting to finally reopen now, although we’re feeling a bit cautious because we’re having to work hard to make sure we’re fitting in with the Covid-19 restrictions.
“We had to take in all-new staff because a lot of the old ones left to go off to university and things like that, so it’s been a case over the past few weeks of training up the new staff and getting them bedded in with both the shop and the Covid-19 rules.
“It has been good to see all the support and messages we’ve received on social media.
“That has really helped a lot.”