A CAFE kiosk at a Hampshire railway station has been refurbished and re-opened, four years after it closed due to the pandemic.

Visitors to Romsey Train Station can now grab a bite to eat or drink at the new community cafe called Platform 2.

The kiosk, which is a sister café to Platform 1 in Shawford, opened on Tuesday, May 30 following a £10,000 revamp.

The facility closed in 2019 but has been brought back to life by the Hampshire Community Rail Partnership (HCRP) and café manager Marco Bertacchini, with the help of a £5,000 grant from South Western Railway (SWR).

READ MORE: Shawford Railway Station: Platform 1 cafe opens after £350,000 refurb

Hampshire Chronicle: Platform 2 Cafe at Romsey Station

HCRP chair Nick said: “It’s been quite a worn-out process but very positive. It’s something we’ve wanted to do for quite a long possible that was made possible by the SWR grant.

“The community café kiosk is useful not just for railway passengers but for local businesses and train drivers too. It’s a good use of an old building which must be 120 to 150 years old.

“The previous kiosk was always well used and loved but sadly lots of things closed during the lockdowns. I’m so glad that we’ve been able to resurrect the kiosk and I hope it will be a success and give people a place to wait and have a drink.

“We’re always looking at opportunities to transform spaces that aren’t being used through our partnership with the train operators. We’re currently working on a pre-application with the Test Valley Borough Council to develop the Station’s Master’s House in Romsey following public consultations over the past few years to see what the public wants.”

SEE ALSO: Plans to renovate derelict Station Master's House in Romsey receive unanimous public backing

Hampshire Chronicle: Platform 2 Cafe at Romsey Station

Manager of Shawford’s Platform 1 and the new Platform 2, Marco, said: “People are pleased to see that we’re open and we’ve had good feedback so far. The kiosk was 100 per cent missed but not a lot of people are aware it has re-opened.

“There are fairly long distance trains from Romsey so people do appreciate having a place to eat and drink. It’s good for commuters and the wider community too.

“I’m very confident that it will be a great success. I think it’s needed space and service for the location.”

The café is open from 6.30am to 2.30pm and serves a selection of drinks - including barista coffee, croissants and sandwiches with vegan options available. Marco and the team are open to changing the hours and menu based on customer feedback.

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The chef and café manager now splits his time between his two cafes to ensure standards are up to scratch, with only one person manning the Romsey kiosk and six employees working in Shawford.

Platform 1 replaced the Shawford Station ticket office, which had been unused for more than 40 years, as part of a £350,000 project to renovate the space.

Speaking on the café’s success since opening in January, Mr Bertacchini, said: “Shawford has been a wonderful success. Lots of people wanted a café there for a long time and we’ve had excellent feedback. It’s great to have a community space that people can use.

“We’ve recently received an alcohol license so will now also be serving local beer and wine to help expand the service we provide.”