A theme cafe on the A46 at Faldingworth faces an uncertain future as its owner wonders if it’s worth the hassle.
Motortown recently shut for winter, but after so many battles with officialdom, Frank Hopkins is unsure whether to re-open next spring.
Frank has fought West Lindsey District Council and county highways over a need for warning signs on the A46, the site of many accidents.
The fire brigade has been round making checks following “malicious calls”. And the cafe recently had to close a day for a clean-up after the health inspector called.
It all makes Frank doubt it was worth moving his main business from Lincoln - Lintrans, which makes baskets and carriers for dogs - to the small village.
“We get very annoyed with enforcement from West Lindsey District Council. They are very good at enforcing stuff but not at helping small business,” he said.
Now, the cafe has just received a 1-star rating (out of 5) for food hygiene, replacing the 4 it used to have.
“It was a spot inspection. Some mouse droppings were under something on the floor which we hadn’t noticed,” he said.
The inspector was satisfied with the clean-up but awarded the best mark she could after a closure - a one - though Frank is confident he will regain his four stars next year. The cafe is in the countryside and despite people’s best efforts, Frank said rats and mice will always be a problem in rural areas.
“No-one has ever been sick or ill from eating here. But people are being killed or injured on the road outside and they do nothing about it,” he said.
Frank said the cafe is a hobby, something he and his wife started to service their suppliers and it became popular with bikers attracted by its memorabilia and bike theme. Monthly Lazy Sunday music events have also raised ‘thousands’ for charity.
Frank said he won’t close over a few mice, but the cafe site has had offers for other uses. “It’s not a moneymaking venture, it’s a hobby, a money pit. We like it and we enjoy it. If it was for the money we would have shut it years ago,” he said.