Owner of Peaky Blinders cafe fears she could go bust after she was ordered to tear down new sign

The owner of a Peaky Blinders cafe fears she could go broke after being ordered to tear down her new sign.

Angela Whyte, 54, poured her life savings into redesigning the empty and run-down eatery that had been closed for years.

Angela Whyte was ordered to tear down her art deco sign


Angela Whyte was ordered to tear down her art deco signPhoto credit: Newsline
Angela's nephew Liam Mennie with the insulting sign


Angela’s nephew Liam Mennie with the insulting signPhoto credit: Newsline
Cillian Murphy as Tommy Shelby on the hit BBC show


Cillian Murphy as Tommy Shelby on the hit BBC showPhoto credit: BBC

It took her five tries to get the art deco sign she wanted, but weeks after it opened, city council leaders urged her to get rid of it.

They say because it’s not made of wood it doesn’t comply with nature reserve rules in Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire.

Angela said: “It’s frustrating. Without me the place would stand empty.

“I’ve put every single penny I have into this place.

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“I’m overdrawn at the bank. I owe everyone money. I didn’t even pay for the sign.”

“It occurred to me that this might bother me. It’s hard to say whether it would or not.”

At Lena’s at Mrs Whyte’s – named after her late mother – she’s packed it with pictures of Peaky Blinders, a replica mirror related to the show and plenty of 1920s memories.

It has been open for less than three months but is struggling to find staff to help. That’s why she was stunned when the council wrote to her asking her to take off her black and gold shield.

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Angela said: “It’s very disturbing. It comes at a really bad time.

“I’m on my feet 17 hours a day. I went home and just burst into tears. I thought, why bother?”

The sign that needs to be removed will cost around £500 and a replacement will cost around another £500.

Angela has been told that the plastic covering in front of the cafe will also be removed in the next few weeks.

She worries the exterior will be such a mess that it will put customers off.

Angela added: “I accept that it is my fault and I should have asked for planning permission. I had no idea it was necessary.

“But the place will look empty and it will cost me the trade. The rent is £1,000 a month and you are paid £1,000 a week.

“Then there are overheads and food costs. It’s not for the faint of heart. It’s heartbreaking because I was able to do this with so little money and so much effort.”

A spokesman for Aberdeenshire Council said: “Our recently completed £5.8million conservation scheme has helped businesses in the reserve to switch to traditional, hand-painted signage.

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“While in line with planning guidelines, we requested that the cafe’s signage be changed in terms of material finish, we would generally support the design itself.

“We will continue to work with the owner to make the necessary changes and are not requesting immediate removal of the current shield.”

The café is packed with memorabilia from the 1920s


The café is packed with memorabilia from the 1920sPhoto credit: Newsline

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Edmuns DeMars

Edmund DeMarche is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Edmund DeMarche joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing edmund@ustimespost.com.

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