Restaurant revival brings jobs boost

The former Joya premises
The former Joya premises
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UP to 50 jobs are to be created as a once-popular restaurant is reborn.

Former nightclub and bar Joya in Wood Street, St Annes, will be re-launched by the team behind Blackpool’s Toast venue.

The Wood Street venue will re-open to the public on December 8.

Toast company director and restaurant manager, Melvin Browitt said: “We are delighted to be opening the new business in St Annes. The new jobs being created are for the long term.

“We employ people for their passion and personality, as well as their ability and attitude.

“Our people – staff, managers and customers alike – are what really make Toast Café Bar and Grill Restaurant a special venue.”

The refurbishment of the front of the building, which has been empty for more than 18 months, brings with it the promise of 50 full and part-time jobs, as well as a first floor night club, which is set to open soon.

St Annes Chamber of Trade chairman John Moxham said: “This is great news for St Annes on a number of fronts.

“A great building, which had been unused for many months, finally has new owners, while there is also the job factor and the service that Toast provides.

“There has always been a big complaint in St Annes for places for young people to go, but I feel this addition will really complement the area and I think it will help to keep the under-40s in the town.”

The move by the owners of Toast is another positive step in the rejuvenation of the former Joya site, after Tiggis Restaurant, to the rear of the property, re-opened earlier this year under the ownership of Romano Ruscitti.

Property developers Henco International had previously secured the Tiggis site, including the former Joya nightclub and bar in front of it, after years of uncertainty over the buildings’ future, following the collapse of the Tiggis group in January 2010 when it went into administration.

Joya opened in 2004, but was more recently rebranded as 21T following a £250,000 makeover before closing its doors.

Restaurateur Keith Blackburn, who owns Jack’s Bistro in Wood Street, said: “The old Joya was the central focal point of Wood Street when it was open.

“It will bring trade and bring people into the area who may try the new restaurant, then think they will try others in the area, including Jack’s Bistro, next time they come. It can only help improve the area.”

“Along with the old Mamma’s building re-opening in some capacity it will bring more people into the area – the more the merrier I say.”

Coun Ed Nash said the arrival of Toast in the town is “absolutely marvellous news”.

He added: “I know Toast in Blackpool has a very good reputation, with the owners having far-seeing views on running a restaurant.

“Joya itself is a fabulous building and I am sure this will be a really good thing for St Annes.

“I wouldn’t call this the green shoots of recovery, but we now have a series of successful restaurants with Toast to come.”

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