Last night around 7.30pm one of our co-owners, Daniele Taverna, was physically assaulted in an unprovoked attack out the front of our gelateria. He was fortunate to come away from the violent incident only shaken and bruised. This was in no small part due to the timely intervention of our near neighbours from 33 Cank Street and Bodega and we would like to thank those individuals for stepping in to help with no thought for their own personal safety.
Years of underfunding have left Leicester without decent provision for destitute people in our city that can also struggle with drug and alcohol problems. They are not being helped and this is making the city feel increasingly unsafe in the evenings. This has become even more noticeable since lockdown.
Similarly, reductions in funding are limiting the response times of our police. After taking detailed information over the phone, the police first went to the wrong address and when they finally arrived, Daniele’s assailant had managed to flee the scene.
We are disappointed that we are not able to feel safe in our own shop. Gelato only exists to make people happy, and Gelato Village only exists to allow us to bring a little bit of joy into our customers’ lives. But we will not put ourselves and our staff at risk to do that.
Having discussed the incident with our team this morning, we realise that none of us feel safe opening in the evening anymore. There needs to be changes in the city to make the night time economy more welcoming for workers and for customers. There needs to be better infrastructure in place for us to feel safe running our business. Until there is change we will not be able to open Gelato Village past 7pm in the evening.
We know this will be disappointing for customers who enjoy visiting us for gelato late at night, after a comedy show or as a follow up to a dinner date. We know a lot of people like to come to Gelato Village because it opens late but does not serve alcohol. We hope that all of these customers will understand and respect our decision. We will continue to open in the daytime, to offer Click & Collect and delivery services, and we hope that you will all continue to support Gelato Village. We will continue to regularly post updates about our opening hours on here and on our Facebook page.
Antonio & Daniele