Chippy owner invests £2m in Wells seafront
Phil Platten, whose family have been frying fish at Wells Quay since the 1960s, is looking to complete a major revamp of the site this summer, when a new fish restaurant opens between the refurbished Plattens chippy and a new gift shop.
Work began on converting the former quayside bingo hall and Shop With a View began four years ago.
'They were both in a very poor state of repair so we decided to copmpletely refurbish them,' said Mr Platten.
'We decided to totally dismantle the building.'
The listed building was put back together, literally brick by brick.
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The bingo hall is now a smart gift shop, with holiday appartments above offering a stunning view over the harbour.
Shop with a View is being turned into an upmarket fish restaurant, which will offer both traditional seaside fish and chips alongside more exotic Meditteranean dishes.
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By the time the first diners sit down and peruse the menu, the development will have cost Plattens £2m.
'We're trying to give everyone best value,' said Mr Platten, whose grandparents Charlie and Doris founded the business in 1962.
'There are lots of fish and chip shops which are raising their standards to similar levels to this.
'We wanted to do this so we stood out on the Quay. The 2012 floods forced everyone to refurbish their shops. Our intention is to be the jewel in the crown in the middle of the Quay.'
Work had just started on the refurb when the storm surge hit Wells, in December 2012. While the lifeboat station beside the beach still bears the scars, the revamped seafront has revitalised the town.
'We all try to keep it traditional with Wells as it is,' said Mr Platten. 'People come to Wells for lots of reasons, to do their shopping and have a meal.'
When the restaurant opens next month, Mr Platten said as much fish and shellfish on the menu as possible would be sourced locally.
The takeaway next door - smartly refurbished with beams and window looking onto the original fisherman's yard - employs between 35 and 40 people.
Mr Platten said a further 15 would be hired to help run the restaurant.