VIDEO: Locals Relish the chance to sample new café at city's revamped Council House
"MODERN, space-age and comfortable" were among the terms used to describe the new café at Derby's Council House by some of its first customers yesterday.
Relish was created as part of the £32 million refurbishment of the building, which was reopened to the public in December.
But it was not ready for customers until Monday.
Now its first visitors have sampled its food and drink and, despite the controversy over how much was spent on the Council House, were positive about what they saw.
Resplendent in modern lime green and black, the sitting area has space for 92 people.
And once the weather has improved, the café's decking overlooking the River Derwent from the back of the Council House will provide seating for another 48.
The council was yesterday unable to provide figures for how much the café cost to create.
When asked for details of how much money it expected to take at the eatery annually, a spokesman said: "No data regarding footfall has been forecast due to no historical data being available."
But customers said they believed Relish could be a big earner for the council, which faces making £63 million of savings over the next three years in the face of cuts to its Government grant.
William Wood, 78, of Fall Road, Heanor, said he expected to visit Relish again after buying a coffee while on a visit to Derby yesterday.
He said: "I've paid £1.90 for a decent-sized coffee which seems good. The upholstery is firm and comfortable and I think they will get a decent amount of custom because it's close to the bus stops."
Mr Wood said he knew the huge amount of money spent on the Council House was controversial but believed that having so many services under one roof was positive.
He added: "It makes good financial sense to have a new café there, too."
Retired couple Vincent and Cheryl Wareham also paid a visit. Mr Wareham, of Vicarage Road, Mickleover, said: "It's modern, clean, quite space-age. I look forward to sitting out on the decking in the summer."
Mrs Wareham said she felt there should be menus on the tables.
Examples of food on the Relish menu include soup for £1.40, baguettes for between £3.10 and £3.80 and jacket potatoes with hot fillings for £3.25.