CUSTOMERS have been left 'very upset' at the impending closure of popular coffee shop after nearly 30 years of providing a warm haven for many local people.

New Dawn Bookshop and Cafe will shut for good next Friday with the loss of seven jobs.

The venue, which is owned by charity Struthers Memorial Church, has been on Jamaica Street since 1993.

Chris Jewell who manages the shop said: "We are all very sad that it has come to this position, the customers love the coffee shop and are very sad about it."

Greenock Telegraph:

He said the closure decision was linked to the current economic climate and the impact of Covid.

Mr Jewell said: "Largely due to Covid and the present cost of living crisis, together with major increases in food costs, the directors of the charity have very reluctantly agreed to close the shop."

The cafe employs seven members of staff at peak times, including Mr Jewell's son, also Chris, who manages the food.

The main priority focus now will be helping the staff to find alternative employment.

Mr Jewell said: "We want to help them through this to find alternative employment.

"Throughout Covid we managed to continue to pay their wages at full rate."

He told how the coffee shop has a special place in the hearts of customers who always received a warm welcome, reasonably priced good food and a comforting atmosphere.

Mr Jewell said: "That is one of the aspects of the coffeeshop, it's comforting, genuinely warm, the customers love the staff and the staff work very hard, nothing is too much trouble.

"We are a team, we look out for each other."

Greenock Telegraph:

"There's a self employed chap who comes here and says he comes in with his head full of figures and he says he walks out with his head as clear as a bell."

The cafe also provided work experience for people in recovery so they can get work at the end of rehab programmes.

Kevin Boyle was in with his friends Robert Hughes and councillor Michael McCormick when the Tele visited.

Kevin, 64, said: "We've been coming here since the end of Covid. It's a real shame, the food is good and it is very reasonable as well. The service has always been very good.

"It's good to support the boys from the Haven who work here as well."

Gerry Gaffney, 67, who along with his wife Jan are both regulars, said: "It is one of the nicest, warmest, most inviting places in Inverclyde to come for a coffee and the food's great. The staff are so friendly and welcoming.

"We come here a couple of times a week. It's not just a coffee shop. It's the hub for so many things and the staff are just lovely."

Jan added: "I feel sad, very upset."

The book and coffee shop will close for good next Friday.