A MAINSTAY of Cudworth’s bustling high street which had its 40-year existence threatened by a fire after it tore through its building has bounced back from the brink - and will finally reopen on Monday.

Lakis Fish Bar, run by the Georgiades family, has traded from its Barnsley Road base in Cudworth for 38 years.

Georgina Georgiades-Ellison, 41, works in the shop alongside her brother Andreas and their mum, Christina, who came to the UK when Cyprus was invaded by Turkey in 1974.

However a fire - which took hold at the end of May - gutted the building which doubles up as Christina’s home and although her upstairs flat still requires work, the shop is set to reopen its doors at 11am on Monday.

Georgina told the Chronicle that local tradespeople - many of which are customers - have chipped in to help get the business back on its feet.

“It’s been overwhelming seeing how many people have offered their support,” she said. “So much hard work has gone into it.

“They raised more than £3,000 for us and we’ve had so much help from local businesses.

“It’s been a rough year - two weeks before the fire we lost our uncle, and our nan in October, so there were times when we thought we couldn’t come back.

In Text Promo Image

“We’ve worked constantly to get the shop back to what it is and although we’ve still got the flat to sort, it’s looking fantastic downstairs and we cannot wait to reopen.

“My mum came on Sunday for the first time since the fire - the last time she saw the shop it was in a terrible state and she was so sad, but she was able to see just how hard we’ve worked so it was emotional for everyone.

“I’d like to thank everyone on behalf of my family who helped to get us back trading.

“We’ve been in Cudworth for so long and trading from the shop is all I’ve ever really known, but it just goes to show how strong our community spirit truly is.

“The mess was unbelievable and the smoke damage was bad, and because it’s a 150-year-old building we were constantly finding issues which put the reopening date back, but we’re so proud we’re now counting down the days.”

Coun Joe Hayward, who represents the Cudworth ward, paid tribute to the family - and the subsequent community response soon after the fire - for their efforts.

“Lakis is arguably the best-known shop on the high street and it’s because they’ve fed generations of Cudworth families,” he added.

“It was truly devastating when the fire happened and I am thrilled the end is now in sight - Monday’s reopening will be an emotional time for the family.

“The support they’ve received from the community shows just how popular they are in this community.”