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Frank and Albie’s shutting up shop

Gladstone Road sandwich bar Frank and Albie's will close its doors in the Coronation Building in early October.

Gisborne hospitality industry veterans David Whitfield and Amy Campbell have decided not to renew their lease in the historic building after nearly nine years.

The last day of trade there will be Friday, October 8.

While the news may be disappointing for their brioche devotees, Mr Whitfield, who last year swapped his chef's knife for a carpenter's hammer, said this was not the end for the brand or its popular baked products.

“If the pandemic has taught us anything, it's that you have to be flexible, and adapt to the new normal.

“We have always aimed to be pioneers and a reinvention of the Frank and Albie's business is just one more example of our commitment to that mission.

“This is a positive change of direction. We are moving beyond the challenges of the past 18 months, the significantly reduced sales while operating at Level 2, the difficulties of finding enough staff and an increasingly bureaucratic operating environment.”

He previously told The Herald he felt Gisborne District Council had “shifted goalposts” when it came to some issues around bureaucracy.

“My thing is there doesn't seem to be any trust in terms of whether you have a good track record at doing things over a long period or whether you are just trying to start up.

“We've always had a good relationship with the council in terms of building consents and being compliant on disabled access toilets and all those kinds of things but kind of worry a little bit if that is consistent and whether that's applied in a common-sense way.”

Mr Whitfield and Ms Campbell have a 20-year history as hospitality operators in the city.

They were “massively grateful” for the years of loyal support from their regular clientele and said they looked forward to continuing to deliver quality food to customers in the region and beyond.

End but not over: Frank and Albies co-owner David Whitfield has confirmed the Gladstone Road food outlet will be shutting up shop for good on Friday, October 8 but has referred to 'a reinvention' and that 'this is a positive change of direction'. Picture by Liam Clayton