Wells café reopening is a landmark for town after floods

PUBLISHED: 10:22 19 July 2014 | UPDATED: 10:22 19 July 2014

Kay Gelder in K's Burger Bar which has re-opened on the quay at Wells. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Kay Gelder in K's Burger Bar which has re-opened on the quay at Wells. Picture: Matthew Usher.

© Archant Norfolk 2014

A Wells café will today be the town’s final business to reopen after the devastating December floods.

Kay Gelder, owner of K’s Burger Bar, renamed simply K’s, has redesigned the café as a 1960s style American diner, partially in tribute to her late parents, Donald and Emily Gray, who opened the business in 1960 as Don’s Snack Bar.

Mrs Gelder, 69, who runs the 
café with her daughter Hayley Gelder, 43, said her parents inspired her to work around the clock to get the business back up and running during a stressful and exhausting eight months.

Mrs Gelder has worked in the café since she was 15 and took over the running of the business just over 30 years ago when her father died.

She said: “It’s been extremely stressful and at some points when I was at my lowest I thought about just giving up.

“But my parents worked very hard to give me and their grandchildren a future and I plan to do the same.”

The café was severely damaged by the December 5 tidal surge, the biggest in Wells’ history.

Floodwaters smashed through the back doors, wreaking havoc on one of the town’s oldest businesses.

Seven fridges and freezers were destroyed, the floor has been replaced and all paperwork in the office was ruined.

Mrs Gelder said delays over insurance and building work have held up the reopening.

She said: “I missed out on the Wells Christmas Tide, on Easter and what has been a great summer so far.

“The next six weeks is typically the busiest time of the year for me, so I’m delighted to be open again.

“People have said lovely things about how great it looks.”

K’s is decked out with 1960s style furniture, a juke box and pictures of Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe and The Beatles.

In tribute to her parents, Mrs Gelder has installed part of a hoopla from fairs they ran around East Anglia in the 1950s.

Sands Amusements arcade recently reopened and other Quayside businesses affected by the floods have been open for some time.

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