Residents gather to pay thanks to city cafe

A note from owner Marc Perry posted in the Forum's window
A note from owner Marc Perry posted in the Forum's window

A wake was held for the Forum Cafe and Wine Bar yesterday.

Organiser Suzie Wilde said the announcement it was closing had left customers 'reeling' and she felt that a proper ending was needed.

Author Suzie Wilde arranged the gathering

Author Suzie Wilde arranged the gathering

"I thought it would be a good thing to say goodbye to each other and the staff so I called an impromptu meeting at 11am yesterday.

"I saw the owner Marc the night before and he said he has no idea people felt so strongly and that the messages he had received saw him crack so he said he couldn't be there," she said.

"We were like lost souls, I made a speech, people were weeping. It is a classic case of you don't know what you've got until it is gone.

"Forum was a bit like Cheers, it was a community of people - some you knew their names and some you didn't, but you saw them every day."

Customers and staff gather at the Forum to say goodbye

Customers and staff gather at the Forum to say goodbye

Stating that the closure of independents in the city is now 'a serious problem', Suzie revealed she has been encouraging people to write to our MP on the issue.

"You would think somewhere that was packed every time you go in there would be ok," she said. "This is not even the canary in the coalmine, I think that has been and gone, I think Messams might have been that but we wouldn't go there everyday."

Notes have been posted in the windows of Forum, formerly known as Attibassi, near Eastergate from staff and local residents and businesses have also taken to social media to express their sadness at the news.

Among them is Fenwicks Cafe which deemed it 'another sad week for the independent businesses in Chichester'.

Forum owner Marc Perry, pic by Kate Shemilt

Forum owner Marc Perry, pic by Kate Shemilt

A message in Forum's window

A message in Forum's window

Some of the messages in the Forum's window

Some of the messages in the Forum's window