An eyesore untouched since its owners died ten years ago is set to be taken over by a Warwickshire council.
The Island Cafe, on the Birmingham Road on the outskirts of Stratford-upon-Avon, has been the subject of dozens of complaints by residents over the past decade.
Its owners died within weeks of each other and everything in the building has been left gathering dust ever since.
Stratford District Council tried to take its new owner, the couple's son, to court in a bid to try and force him to clean up.
Now the authority is seeking a compulsory purchase order.
"The place is like the Marie Celeste," said Coun Chris Williams, Stratford cabinet member for community services.
"There are still plates to be washed up with fish and chips still on them. The cafe looked as if someone had just come out and locked the door one day. It had become a health risk." Stratford District Council has been deluged with complaints about the cafe by the public.
"We have been asked by the public if we can't do anything about it," said Coun Williams. "It is one of the key places when you come into Stratford, it's in your face.
"We went to court and got a warrant for the new owner's arrest but he ignored that.
"The whole thing is odious and unpleasant.
"An order for the cafe's compulsory purchase is a last resort. We just want someone who will clean it up and paint the windows.
The cafe was built in the 1960s and was a very popular stopping point. Its prime location means it is worth up to £500,000. Coun Williams said investors would be queuing up to buy it.
"This is a tortuous route to go down and one we really don't want to go down but really we can do it no other way," said Coun Williams.
"Now the owner might be moved to dispose of it.
"There is a lot of interest in the place, it is in a prime spot and rents could be very high." Professor Ian Heggie, chairman of the Stratford Society and The Stratford Renaissance, welcomed the council action as "a bold and decisive move".
"We've been sitting around on this for ten years now and it makes a very bad impression on people coming into Stratford," he said.
"We are lobbying for £15 million from Advantage West Midlands to improve the town as part of the World Class Stratford project and we can't afford to have blots on the landscape like this."
The council acted after a former Environment Secretary saw the building and condemned it.
"When John Gummer came to give a speech to the Stratford Society he said we shouldn't have buildings like that standing in the middle of a quality town like Stratford," said Prof Heggie.
"He was right, and without a CPO we would just be going on talking about it."