Plans for St John’s Square to become Blackpool’s food quarter have moved on a step after a new cafe bar opened in the front of the Winter Gardens.
Businessman Fraser Gillespie was helped in his venture by Blackpool Council, which owns the historic complex.
Now he is hoping to play a part in the regeneration of that part of the town centre.
Mr Gillespie said: “We were given two weeks notice to move out of our existing restaurant in Holmefield Road and left in December.
“We were distraught because we had built up a good business. So I contacted the council’s business start-up department and eventually I was put in touch with the Winter Gardens.
“They have been marvelous. We have ordered new tables and chairs but they are not going to arrive until March, so in the meantime the Winter Gardens has lent us some of their tables and chairs.
“The surroundings are beautiful. It is very modern but with an old-fashioned feel.”
Called Chardonnay Blackpool, the venue will initially open until early evening.
Mr Gillespie added: “This area has all the right ingredients to be the food quarter of Blackpool, and I’m delighted to be part of that.”
Coun Fred Jackson, Blackpool Council’s cabinet member for urban regeneration, said: “Our Get Started service not only helps people to start up in business but we also provide ongoing support which is crucial in business.
“We’re pleased to have assisted Fraser in finding new premises in the heart of Blackpool, particularly at a venue as fantastic as the Winter Gardens.”