A popular Birmingham sandwich bar which has served a string of celebrities over three decades could be bulldozed away as part of a plan to turn their premises into office space.
Business partners Pat Round and Val Woollams were left shocked when they found out their Satisfactory Sandwich Bar, at Albany House, in Hurst Street could be knocked down under a new planning application they knew nothing about.
The 3x15m unit has served thousands of breakfasts and lunches over its 30-year history with famous customers including Joe Pasquale, John Barrowman, Ken Dodd and Jimmy Cricket.
Danny La Rue was so satisfied with the service he sent staff a Christmas card in 1998.
Pat, who worked part-time before deciding to take over the business, said: “We didn’t get any notification about the application, we found out through word of mouth. I was gobsmacked because of the length of time I have been here.
“This sandwich bar has been part of Hurst Street for such a long time. It was here before everything else. We have built a great reputation.
“It started off as a part-time job for me, I would come from Tamworth on the bus to do a few hours and later I got the chance to buy it from the owner and it’s been my life since then.
"I have built the business up over 17 years and now someone just wants to take it away from me. I don’t want to go. I have a mortgage, this is six people’s jobs.
“In its heyday people would be queueing up the street, about 40 people. Times have changed since then because of the amount of competition but people still love coming here because of the quality and the price.
"People say we do the best sandwiches in Birmingham because we offer value for money.
“I can’t believe they want to get rid of us.” Val added: “How can people do things like this, just not even consider us, and all for a new entrance.
“We get a lot of office workers, taxi drivers, construction workers if there is building works and we have had a lot of celebrities in the past from the Hippodrome especially when the panto is on.”
Pat and Val approached the landlord RVB Investments earlier this year when their lease was due to expire.
They were told an offer would be made. Six months on the company has submitted a planning application to Birmingham City Council.
The proposal is for a change of use from a sandwich bar to office space and the installation of a new frontage. A decision will be made at the end of this month.
Customers have offered support to Pat and Val with more than 150 people signing a petition in two days.
Pat said: “I am overwhelmed by the support from our customers.”
The director of RVB Investments was not available, maintenance manager Cliff Leigh said he had no comment to make.