14th November 2018
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

Hay’s Dock Café closes

Hay’s Dock Café Restaurant has closed with the loss of five jobs.

On Saturday Shetland Amenity Trust released a statement announcing the closure in the face of “very challenging trading conditions”.

The restaurant, which Shetland Amenity Trust chief executive Mat Roberts said in August had been making a loss, opened in Shetland Museum and Archives in 2007 as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the trust.

The statement said: “The decision was taken with regret, but the business is not currently profitable.

“The staff and trustees of the Shetland Amenity Trust are now considering all the
options available to ensure that visitors to the Shetland Museum and Archives have
access to refreshments during their visits.

“Until new arrangements can be put in place, visitors will be advised of the café facilities available at Mareel, a short walk away, and other premises in Lerwick.

“The trust meanwhile wishes to thank all the many customers who have enjoyed eating at the café-restaurant.

“Shetland Amenity Trust is the sole shareholder in Hay’s Dock Café Restaurant. Five
staff at the restaurant are to be made redundant; no employees of the Shetland
Amenity Trust are affected.”

More in Friday’s Shetland Times

About Adam Guest

Reporter for The Shetland Times. I have also worked as a senior news reporter at The Press and Journal, The Barnsley Chronicle and as a freelance reporter for The Doncaster Free Press. Alongside news reporting I specialise in music and sports journalism. Pork pie lover.

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7 comments

  1. Ali Inkster

    “On Saturday Shetland Amenity Trust released a statement announcing the closure in the face of “very challenging trading conditions”.”

    As journalists did none of you think to question this statement from a public body?
    Shetland has just seen the busiest tourist seasons ever. You could be forgiven for thinking this would be very favourable trading conditions for a business in the hospitality trade in the museum a magnet for tourists.
    It would seem journalism and public sector are on a par when it comes to doing their jobs.

    Reply
    • Steven Jarmson

      I think no journalism is required here.
      The musuem have simply issued a statement to all press.
      Maybe questions can and will be asked later.
      But the real problem, similar to the Mareel bar/eatery, is that the people running it don’t know ehst they’re doing.
      They’re trying to hit a market that is miniscule in Shetland.
      The place was unfriendly to families with children, a basic customer in a museum!!
      Nuts how our local trusts run things!!

      Reply
  2. Charlie Rosie

    Shetland has one of the best museums I have visited – anywhere!
    And tourism to Shetland is better than ever and forecast to grow.
    What on earth is going on when one of the top attractions in Scotland -the museum -can’t capitalise on what it’s got?

    Reply
  3. Christopher Johnston

    As the Prime Minister said to Sherlock Holmes in “The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans”, “Come! There’s more in this than meets the eye!”
    Saturday afternoon or Friday afternoon decision matters not. The intention was to keep the news from the media until Monday. It’s a standard government bureaucratic tactic.

    Reply
  4. John Scott

    As a regular visitor to Shetland, this announcement has come as no surprise to me, and probably the majority of people using the facility. The Cafe was on a long and slow decline for a years; mainly due to the ridiculous menu rules, and terrible level of service. Customers were handed a large menu card, most of which contained items only available after 12.00 . Even if you tried to order lunch at 11.45, which would mean the meal probably being brought to the table after the noon deadline, the waitresses wouldn’t take the order. The last time I visited, only scones and semi frozen pats of butter were available; they had no jam or marmalade due to ‘ stocktaking issues’ . I witnessed cruise passengers walk out in disbelief when the menu restrictions were explained to them.

    Reply
  5. Peter Hamilton

    There are more than a handful of folk who could make a tidy income from providing a limited range of soup and bannocks in this great location which, let’s face it, has something of a captive audience for teas and coffees too.

    A very basic Shetland themed offering wouldn’t threaten profits at Mareel. The museum is a terrific asset. This can’t be the end of the story.

    Reply
  6. Linsey Nisbet

    This is a very sad story. Hays Dock Cafe is in a fabulous location, and was once a very busy and popular venue. I fear something has been going very wrong there lately, however, probably because of poor management.
    On our last visit there, my husband and I sat for a long time waiting to be served while several very young staff members rushed around looking busy but actually achieving nothing. As it was after 1.30, we had been told that we could not order hot food. That was okay. We just wanted a scone and a cup of tea. After 25 minutes we had been ignored long enough, and we left.
    The place was only half full, so we could not understand why it was so difficult to be served.
    We decided then that we would probably not go back.
    What a sad loss to Shetland.

    Reply

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