A CAFE which has been part of a community for three centuries has undergone an intense four day renovation.

Sam Zair’s Cafe, in Bishop Auckland, is run by Sam Zair, 63, and wife Lesley, 56, who with the help of four workers have been hard at work on a dramatic transformation, including LED lights, fresh tiles and a new counter.

Mr Zair said: “We decided to renovate to coincide with the reopening of Auckland Castle and thought we should give our place a facelift in support of the events happening at The Auckland Project.”

“Our place has spanned for three centuries, since 1898, and the customers and ourselves feel like a community.”

Mr Zair said he had chosen to go with LED lights to reduce the carbon footprint of the cafe in order to do his bit for the environment.

The couple were at the cafe well after midnight along with other local workers in preparation for their reopening.

He said: “I hope that the renovation makes our café more welcoming, so that visitors who are here to see events at the castle will come inside, meaning we’ll have a good mix of people as well as our regulars.”

Lesley Zair said: “We have spent the past four days working hard on our café, and we’ve had four of the loveliest workers – we’ve laughed every minute.”

Mr Zair added: “We all had good ideas and they all pulled together.

“We welcome the public to come down and see the new look for themselves.”