Finance director confirms Fat Cat will reopen after blaze but no date set

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THE Fat Cat Cafe Bar in Northampton will be closed for access for at least two weeks while a report is being compiled into the damage following a fire in the upper floors of the building.

And bosses at the group which runs the bar from the ground floor of the former Angel Hotel in Bridge Street, said there was no clue yet as to when it might admit its next customer.

Simon Patterson, finance director at the Fat Cat Group, said: “We have offered staff positions at our bars elsewhere in the country although, if they are based in Northampton, I’m not sure how many will take that up.

“As you can imagine it’s a mess. I don’t know how long it will be until we reopen but we will reopen, whether that’s in six months, 12 months or 18 months.”

Mr Patterson said a report was being drawn up on the level of damage and that renovation work could not get under way until that was finished. He said the report could take about a fortnight.

The main damage to Fat Cats is believed to be the collapsed ceiling at the front of the bar – the back of the building is largely untouched – and water damage from firefighters’ hoses on Monday night, but it has so far been difficult to properly assess the interior because of the debris. The Balloon bar next door, meanwhile, is believed to have suffered only water and smoke damage and managers said it should re-open in three weeks.

Leader of Northampton Borough Council, Councillor David Mackintosh, met the owner of the Balloon, John Shelton, and discussed how the council could help to support him in getting his business up and running. Pedestrians can currently access Bridge Street from both the top and bottom, but cannot walk along the side of the road next to the damaged building. The cordon was expected to be removed late on Friday and the road reopened one way.