Bistro at the station

A disused station building at Etchingham has been transformed into a thriving bistro thanks to local action
A disused station building at Etchingham has been transformed into a thriving bistro thanks to local action

A semi-derlict station master's house in Sussex is turned into a great place for snacks

In 2007, the village of Etchingham in Sussex found, as part of consultation on a village action plan that 84% of its inhabitants wanted a pub. The semi-derelict Grade II listed old station master’s house at the village’s station was identified as the ideal location.

A community interest company was set up and £150,000 raised to turn the building, part of which still has a ticket office, into a bistro. In 2010, Bistro@the station opened and since then it was won a number of awards, including one from the local CPRE branch. By carefully targeting its market and opening hours, it has managed to control costs. While it opens early in the morning to offer commuters a coffee, it closes at 2pm after lunch. On Wednesdays to Fridays it offers evening meals too. Although 250,000 people use Etchingham station to take a train every year, others visit just for the food and drink on offer.

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