A popular Watford takeaway is set to reopen, but one of its owners is “petrified” that price hikes may force him to sell.

Meriden Fish Bar, in York Way, Meriden, is expected to reopen on July 5 having closed in April 2021 to move to a new premises.

The move was part of the Meriden Regeneration Project that has also introduced a new shopping parade to the area.

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Customers will be treated to buying meals at half price for the first two days of the opening.

Co-owner Donald Langford said he will also be bringing back gluten free options on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Mr Langford, 57, has owned Meriden Fish Bar since 2000, having previously worked there from 1994.

Since the shop’s closure he has had “hundreds” of messages on Facebook from customers asking him when it will reopen.

But despite people’s excitement at the reopening, Mr Langford said he is worried about his future at the shop because of the cost of food and utilities going up.

He said: “With the price of oil, food and everything else, I’m absolutely petrified for the future.”

Watford Observer: Co-owners Donald Langford (left) and Ferhat Cicek (right). Picture: Donald LangfordCo-owners Donald Langford (left) and Ferhat Cicek (right). Picture: Donald Langford

Mr Langford warned that the rent for the new shop is a huge problem too.

He said: “Watford Community Housing has been fantastic. I can’t fault them. But I did have to say to them the rents are too high, and they need to revise it.

“If things become too difficult then I might have to sell my half to my business partner.”

Mr Langford said the shop should have opened in October, but it took longer than expected when he realised the amount of work involved.

He said: “I was overwhelmed. There was so much planning that needed to be done in the shop and I didn’t have the money.

“Then Ferhat Cicek came on board as a co-owner, and he has been great and really helped.”

Watford Community Housing’s deputy manager Nick Edwards said unit rates are based on an independent assessment and are in line with current market rates.  

He added the organisation will work with businesses to ensure their success.

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