Blackpool cafe bar dream takes flight

Joseph Yates, Coun Alistair Humphreys and Danielle Yates at Montagues in Highfield Road
Joseph Yates, Coun Alistair Humphreys and Danielle Yates at Montagues in Highfield Road
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Blackpool cafe bar which has opened thanks to the airport’s closure is set to offer training for would-be celebrity chefs of the future.

Montagues in Highfield Road is aiming to bring a touch of city chic to the close-knit community.

Owner Danielle Yates was the former owner of Mojo’s Coffee Bar at Blackpool Airport’s departure lounge before its closure last October when she and her 12 staff lost their livelihood.

But now she is back in business with her husband Joseph.

Danielle said: “Whilst Montagues will offer a different experience to the airport, our ethos of bettering Blackpool is still very much central to everything we do.

We wanted to create a comfortable and stylish environment with a small, well-considered menu using fresh ingredients from local suppliers. Montagues will employ young people from the area, a number of whom were previously employed at Mojos, and has also linked up with Blackpool & The Fylde Catering College as a venue for on the job chef training.

I have a great affection for Blackpool, especially the South Shore area, having grown up here myself.

Our aim is to try and provide a dining and drinking experience for local residents that is a better alternative to the increasing number of identikit chains that are moving into the town centre, and we hope this is something that the local people will both support and enjoy.”

She said the project would not have been possible without the help of family and friends including Joseph Boniface, of Joseph Boniface Architects and step father Kevin Lavin and his team at Unique Construction.

When it came to the design of the interior, Danielle also got the chance to work with school friend Joanne Brierley, who works in London for top antiques dealer and interior designer Christopher Howe, whose clients include the late Lucian Freud and Kensington Palace.

Kevin and his team uncovered an original Accrington brick wall in the interior, which provides a backdrop for the mix of original artworks, nostalgic posters and prints, and interesting local paraphernalia collected by Joanne.

Joanne said, “Creating something back home in Blackpool with Danielle has been a dream job and so much fun. We really wanted to create an eclectic and stylish space that made use of as many local reclaimed materials as possible, felt comfortable and cool and was versatile for any time of day, as Montagues will be open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and cocktails”.

Squires Gate councillor Alistair Humphreys has praised the new venture and said it was vital that councillors supported local businesses.

He said: “Thriving business is important for any area as it brings jobs and money to the economy.

“And I hope Montagues will thrive in what is a lovely street, there is everything you could want for a good night out in this part of Highfield Road. It really complements the area.”