Weymouth quay fishmongers could be getting a restaurant

Weymouth quay fishmongers could be getting a restaurant

Published by George Sharpe at 12:01am 4th January 2020.

Weymouth fishmongers, Weyfish, are planning a refit to their shop and open a first floor restaurant above.

  • Plans to open a first floor restaurant could bring 4 new jobs to the area
  • Proposals also include a larger ground floor area with display tanks pumped with sea water.

Dorset Council has received a planning consent for the changes to the historic Custom House Quay building.

If approved the new restaurant will create two full-time and two part-time jobs, opening from noon to 11pm Monday to Friday and Sunday, and for an extra half hour until 11.30pm on Saturdays. Plans submitted suggest that it will have around 40 covers.

The quayside Portland stone building is listed, grade 2, and is the town’s former fish market dating from 1855, then uses for twice weekly mainly outdoor markets. It was later listed as being ‘Sanders Coal Store’ by the 1880s and in the early to mid-1970s was used as a council store for fertiliser and beach equipment, with repair and restoration work returning it to fish processing, wholesale and retail use by 1985.

Fish

The application for the change of use and refit says that Weyfish was acquired by local businessman Sean Cooper and fisherman Bob Hope in late 2017.

The report to the council says:

“They have invested in the local fishing fleet to ensure local sourcing, adapted the management processes and the business is now thriving with additional local jobs created. Fish and shellfish production, processing and sales have increased dramatically.

"Much of the preparation and processing has been transferred to new premises on Portland whilst the acquisition of the freehold from the council has been negotiated. The intention now is to use the extra space in the Old Fish Market to improve and enlarge the retail operation and add a sea food restaurant on the upper level.”

The proposals for the ground floor involve a larger retail shop area with chilled display counters on three sides and a glass sided display tank on the fourth. The preparation areas behind the display counters will be open to view with new walk-in fridge and freezer compartments against the north wall alongside a range of receiving/storage tanks.

Oysters

These, and the display tank, will be fed with circulating sea water via the existing quay wall pump and underground piping. The lower panes on all three windows will be adapted to open as serveries for oysters, crab and shellfish.

The new restaurant will be accessed via a lift and spiral staircase with the kitchen area open to view and the roof timbers exposed to create a feature.

A decision is expected to be made by a planning officer with the application open for public comments until January 25th.

By Trevor Bevins, Local Democracy Reporter