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Fish Hoek residents divided over drive to close beach-front restaurant

...I won't say it's going to get any stars for culinary excellence, but it's a great place."

A number of  Fish Hoek residents have started a petition to close Fish Hoek’s Galley restaurant claiming that the service offered at the beach-front restaurant is “appalling”.

The group of residents started the petition a week ago, which has been signed by 750 people so far.

This despite the beach-front restaurant laying odds that its is the eatery with “the finest views and the freshest seafood” in Cape Town.

Part of the petition reads:

“It holds the monopoly in terms of competitors, and precludes other businesses from offering healthy competition which may help ‘raise the bar’ in terms of services and standards. Fish Hoek residents are fed up, and aim to take action one way or another, to bring about change.

According to restaurant owner, Mathea Eichel the action is being driven by a personal grudge against her and has racist undertones.

The drive to close down the restaurant has divided Fish Hoek residents, with some residents supporting the petition and some maintaining that the restaurant still offers good service.

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James a former Fish Hoek resident praised Mathea and her husband for turning a “scrappy” building in the 80s into a thriving business.

“He worked very hard with his wife to build that business and there is an intense amount of envy of that man… I won’t say it’s going to get any stars for culinary excellence, but it’s a great place.”

Sue, a Glencairn resident said that service at the restaurant has deteriorated over time.

“We used to love going there…. just for a cup of coffee we would wait almost two hours and it was unacceptable… It’s a beautiful setting, but it’s take it or leave it. That’s the reason that we’re all upset.”

Kate from Fish Hoek says the service is outstanding: “We’ve been there numerous times; overseas visitors have come with us – the food and the service is outstanding. It is busy on the side where the people come up from the beach and want to order a toasted sandwich or a light meal, yes, but the Galley Restaurant – I’ve never had a bad meal there.”

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