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Vandals smash feature window at town’s wine bar

PUBLISHED: 12:57 11 June 2020 | UPDATED: 13:20 11 June 2020

The window at the Estuary Wine Bar in Manningtree was smashed on Tuesday evening. Picture: ROWAN HUNTER

The window at the Estuary Wine Bar in Manningtree was smashed on Tuesday evening. Picture: ROWAN HUNTER

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A feature window at the Estuary Wine Bar in Manningtree was smashed by vandals leaving the owner with a repair bill that is likely to spiral.

Rowan Hunter, owner of the Estuary Wine Bar, was shocked to find the window of his business had been smashed in the evening earlier this week. Picture: ELEANOR SKANRowan Hunter, owner of the Estuary Wine Bar, was shocked to find the window of his business had been smashed in the evening earlier this week. Picture: ELEANOR SKAN

Rowan Hunter opened the high street bar in November 2018 and even during lockdown has been doing a roaring trade in wine, beer and gin home deliveries.

However, the young business owner was devastated on Tuesday evening when he got a call from the owners of tattoo parlour opposite to say the front window, featuring beautiful gold writing, had been smashed.

“It’s just really bad timing for this to happen now,” Mr Hunter explained. “I had to pay £2,795 just to have the window boarded up as it was out of hours.

“I’ll be able to claim on the insurance but for now that cash has come out of my pocket and we don’t know yet how much it will cost to have fixed – the first fee was just to have the broken glass swept up, removed and the window safely boarded up.”

The window at the Estuary Wine Bar in Manningtree was smashed on Tuesday evening. Picture: ROWAN HUNTERThe window at the Estuary Wine Bar in Manningtree was smashed on Tuesday evening. Picture: ROWAN HUNTER

The 32-year-old rents the space and the building is listed, meaning the process of replacing the window will be complicated.

This is Mr Hunter’s first business after working at the Mistley Thorn for several years and then moving on to manage a restaurant in Soho, London.

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He added: “We are hoping to still reopen our doors on July 4 even if it is at limited capacity.

The window at the Estuary Wine Bar in Manningtree was smashed on Tuesday evening. Picture: ROWAN HUNTERThe window at the Estuary Wine Bar in Manningtree was smashed on Tuesday evening. Picture: ROWAN HUNTER

“It’s a shame as we were just getting the ball rolling with reopening and then this happened so it is disappointing.”

He said the business community in the area had pulled together during the coronavirus crisis.

“The whole community has been so supportive, everyone has been helpful.

“We are on Manningtree High Street, so there are loads of other small businesses around. It only takes two seconds to share something on your social media so we’ve all been able to support each other during lockdown.”

The window at the Estuary Wine Bar in Manningtree was smashed on Tuesday evening. Picture: ROWAN HUNTERThe window at the Estuary Wine Bar in Manningtree was smashed on Tuesday evening. Picture: ROWAN HUNTER

Mr Hunter has reported the incident to Essex Police and though there are CCTV cameras in the bar, he fears the film may not have captured the entire incident.

A spokesman for Essex Police said: “The window was smashed at the wine bar and reported to us shortly after 9.35pm on 9 June.”

Thomas Barker, a friend of the owner, has started a crowd funding page to raise money for the window repairs and already several hundred pounds have been donated.


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