It is with sad hearts, to announce that we have decided not to re-open in full, The Messy Hare. As you can imagine, the decision has not been made lightly. We will be vacating the premises on 30th April 2021. In the meantime, we will still have some art materials available for sale. If you have seen any artwork that you are interested in, we can reserve this. There will be the opportunity to come The Messy Hare from the 12th April following Government Guidelines. We can also arrange via appointment.
We originally started the business in November 2018 with a 3 year lease, knowing that we would not see an income for 12 to 18 months.After the first 12 months of being open, we were in a position to grow through the summer which should then see us able to cover the business costs and pay a little to ourselves towards wages.
However with the pandemic we were forced to close completely for the lockdowns due to not being an essential business.We were able to claim some of the government payments for small businesses, but most of this has gone back to the council to pay for the rent on a building that we were not allowed to open to the public during the lockdowns, and to cover other bills.
The future of the business for the rest of this year would be very uncertain, we could only open in April in part, as the gallery and outdoor cafe, meaning no indoor dining. In mid-May we could reopen fully, but what is the footfall likely to be? These dates are also the earliest and could change.There are already talks about another covid wave so more restrictions could be enforced.
With this in mind, we could only really expect to get up to where we were before lockdown after another 12 months and would probably need a further 12 months to grow the business enough to actually cover our costs and possibly pay us a little wage.
We decided that the possibility of 4 years after starting the business without any income is just not feasible, which is why the decision to close the business has been made. After liaising with our landlord, we have agreed to vacate the premises on the 30th April 2021.
On a practical note, due to limited storage space, we will be selling the majority of our fixtures and fittings, so if there was anything you may be interested in buying, please let us know.
If you had booked on a workshop which couldn’t go ahead due to lockdown, we will be in touch with regard to a refund in full. If you have unspent gift vouchers, please get in touch with regard to picking some artwork or art materials or we can arrange a refund.
What will we be doing post Messy Hare? In addition to personal commitments, Michele will be continuing to offer art within the community with workshops and offering 1-to-1 tuition, creating her own artwork and have work at the odd craft fair or two, which we hope to see you at. Kev will be supporting Michele with her artwork and will carry on ‘as is’ with his other day job… and continue to enjoy cooking for leisure.
We have met so many amazing people, employed some fantastic individuals including our lovely friend and volunteer Tina, supported established and up and coming creatives. We have helped many through art workshops for wellbeing and made lots of new friends. We have also supported local businesses and charities. Won an Arts Centre of the Year Award. In fact, we achieved within a short time most things that we set out to do and more!
Please continue to support artists, creatives and small businesses, they are the heart of our communities, and without them, the world would be a lot less colourful.
Thank you so much… stay creative!Michele & KevThe Messy Hare Gallery & Coffee Shop