Plan to convert town restaurant into homes

The Gate on Thaxted Road, Saffron Walden. Photo: Calin Dirstar.

The Gate on Thaxted Road, Saffron Walden. Photo: Calin Dirstar. - Credit: Calin Dirstar

A much-loved Saffron Walden restaurant could be converted into housing. 

Cordage 26 Ltd has submitted an application to Uttlesford District Council to convert The Gate restaurant into two houses, and build three more homes at the back of the building.

The family running The Gate for the last decade, who have been tenants, are preparing to move to The Red Lion pub on Finchingfield Road, Great Sampford. They have issued a heartfelt 'thank you' to the community for support and friendship.

Andreea Dirstar, manager at The Gate, said: “We will be moving there regardless of the outcome of the planning application, but I would like everyone to know that we loved being at The Gate.  

“The dream for us was always to be able to buy something and run our own business, rather than be tied to a big company, which is really hard.” 

Andreea Dirstar, manager at The Gate. Photo: Calin Dirstar.

Andreea Dirstar, manager at The Gate. Photo: Calin Dirstar. - Credit: Calin Dirstar

Andreea added The Red Lion will be very similar to what they have been doing at The Gate. 

The opening date at the new location is yet to be confirmed, because of ongoing refurbishment and coronavirus restrictions. But Andreea said they are excited about the move. 

“It’s a new venture, the current climate is not great for opening a public house, but we are hopeful things will get better. 

“We are hoping that the pub will be full of lovely people eating and drinking and sharing their stories with their friends and families.” 

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She said she wanted to thank Saffron Walden residents for their support. 

“Thank you for all your good mornings and smiles. Thank you for offering us not only a place to set up our little restaurant, but also a home. Thank you to all the people who visited us to dine with us, who asked how we are doing, who got to know us, who shared their stories with us, who always chose us to celebrate the special occasions. 

“You made us feel valued and part of something special. We always said that The Gate is like a family, but without us even realising, the family grew and grew. To us running a pub was never simply a business, it was about people, about sharing and being part of a community, and we have been truly blessed to be so here.”