A POPULAR East Oxford cafe has temporarily closed after a visit from environmental health officers.

The Excelsior Cafe in Cowley Road was closed after inspectors visited following a complaint from a member of the public.

But owner Andreas Koumi hopes to reopen tomorrow.

The 79-year-old, who has run the cafe for more than five decades, was given a certificate of honour by Oxford City Council in May for his contribution to the city, providing valuable support for lonely and vulnerable people.

Following an inspection from food inspectors on May 25, Mr Koumi, who lives in Oxford, agreed to shut the cafe on a temporary basis.

He said: “I had to do some work following a council inspection and I have been carrying out some repairs to the kitchen but I am planning to open again tomorrow.

“We have been told that we can reopen and I do sincerely hope to reopen the cafe tomorrow.”

He declined to comment further.

Yesterday the council refused to reveal the nature of the complaint but spokesman Louisa Dean said: “We received a complaint regarding Excelsior Cafe on May 24 and visited the premises the next day.

“After receiving advice from environmental health, the owner decided voluntarily to temporarily cease trading.

“Officers have carried out numerous visits to the property since and on June 27, they determined that if the owner wished to reopen, he could.

“The premises had been inspected by the food team on August 12 last year, was given two stars and is due to be reinspected in February.”

The council’s star ratings scheme runs from zero – “very poor” – to an “excellent” five.