Twenty jobs are set to be created after a Fylde restaurant announced new expansion plans as part of the revitalisation of St Annes seafront.
An ambitious six-figure investment will see the Anatolia Sea View Mediterranean eaterie open this summer on the first floor of The Island leisure complex.
It will be a ‘big sister’ restaurant to the award-winning Anatolia, in Park Road, St Annes, and has been welcomed as a mouth-watering prospect by key tourism and civic figures.
Veli Kirk, who hails from Turkey, but has lived in St Annes since 1991, opened Anatolia in 2010 and has seen it recognised as the number one restaurant in Lytham St Annes by website Tripadvisor for the last three years, based on customer reviews.
The Turkish open barbecue eaterie, with just 34 covers, is so popular that Veli regularly has to turn away at least 150 potential customers a week, he claims.
The seaview premises, which will include a private function area as well as seasonal seating on a sea-facing balcony, will offer four times the town centre restaurant’s capacity, and Veli is particularly keen to welcome families all year round.
“It’s a wonderful location and offers so much potential,” he said.
“We already have the cinema and the newly-refurbished swimming pool close by, along with all the various seafront family attractions, and this is the ideal site for a family restaurant offering a Mediterranean menu.
“St Annes is a lovely place and I am very proud of living and being in business here.
“I want to do my very best for the town and hope this will help bring vital further revitalisation to the seafront.
“After all, that is really the crown jewel of any seaside resort and we all want to se it thriving, not just in the day in season but in the evenings and all year round.
“I have already been in touch with representatives of the county council as the highway authority, to try and get lighting improved in the area, and I hope we can establish Anatolia Sea View as a really key location for family meals and celebrations. I am really excited at the prospect.”
Veli has taken out a 20-year lease on the premises, which offers 700 sq metres of space and a capacity of 90 in the main dining area, with a further 30 in the function area, plus additional seating on the balcony.
The jobs created will cover all aspects of the restaurant, including waiting, bar and kitchen posts and, like the Park Road premises, which were unique in Lancashire at the time of opening, will have an open barbecue setting.
St Annes mayor Coun Ed Nash said: “When he first mentioned this idea, it did cause me to suck my teeth a little as the restaurant area on the first floor of The Island has been known as something of an elephant’s graveyard over the years. But there is no real reason why that part of town shouldn’t be the centre of attention.”