Kiosk at Icart could stay closed for summer
ICART Tea Garden might not be able to open for the rest of summer, because the owner is working on another project.
The popular kiosk in St Martin’s, known for its ice-creams, would normally have opened on Good Friday, but the shutters have stayed down so far this year.
Alan Thoume first leased the kiosk in 1983 and bought it in 1985. It was then leased out for several years, but Mr Thoume has opened it himself every year since 1992, until this season. For the last few years he has been working on a project during the winter, but the kiosk commitment during the summer meant he did not have enough time to do it.
‘I decided this year to focus on my project all the way through,’ he said.
He had hoped to be finished by now.
‘I thought if I don’t do this project, it won’t happen,’ he said.
‘But it’s taken longer than expected.’
Mr Thoume said it would not be practical to get a tenant in.
‘I would have let someone else run it, but because it is run on a generator and there would be thousands of pounds of ice cream on the site [it was not possible],’ he said.
‘If the generator fails, they would need to know how to fix it. I can do that sort of stuff, but finding a tenant who could would be unlikely.’
Once the project was finished, he said it would take him just 10 days to get the kiosk fully stocked and open, but the end date is not clear.
‘I honestly don’t know if I will open this year,’ he said.
‘I am missing it a lot. I love it. It’s great fun.’
However, he confirmed that he would be opening the kiosk, though it might not be until next year.
Many kiosks are leased to tenants by the States and they have to comply with conditions and open for all of the summer, although privately-owned kiosks are not held to these restrictions.
The kiosk has 37 reviews on Tripadvisor, of which 29 are very good or excellent.
But the tea gardens got its first one-star review in May, due to it being closed.