Diner dream comes true for Viva Blackpool pair

A £1.2m investment will see the empty Harry Ramsden's restaurant turned into an American diner.

Tuesday, 11th April 2017, 4:39 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 6:40 pm
High hopes for the former Harry Ramsdens site on the Promenade
High hopes for the former Harry Ramsdens site on the Promenade

The team behind cabaret spot Viva Blackpool is transforming the ground floor outlet into Viva Vegas Diner.

Development is already under way, with the Promenade restaurant set to open in May, creating 25 new jobs.

Viva managing director Martin Heywood said: “We’re delighted to be expanding with this new venue and investment which is going to create new high quality jobs.

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Martin Heywood and Leye D Johns have high hopes for the former Harry Ramsdens site on the Promenade

“We’re all about championing Blackpool and providing an exceptional visitor experience to our customers so to have the chance make our mark on Blackpool’s iconic Golden Mile is fantastic.”

Viva Blackpool opened in 2012 and now employs more than 65 people, paying the living wage, and hosts shows 365 days a year.

The site of the new diner – directly below Viva Blackpool – was vacated by Harry Ramsden’s when the chain moved into new premises at the former Tower Lounge, which opened in July last year.

Viva’s entertainment director Leye D Johns said: “We really believe in Blackpool and being able to offer high quality employment opportunities for local people is just brilliant.”

Martin Heywood and Leye D Johns have high hopes for the former Harry Ramsdens site on the Promenade

As well as transforming the former fish and chip restaurant, Viva is investing in its staff training programme.

The new venue has been supported by NatWest Corporate and Commercial and Manchester-based Pannone Corporate Solicitors.

NatWest’s John Platt said: “Martin and Leye know the local market as well as anyone, having lived and worked in Blackpool for a number of years.”

Pannone solicitor Gareth Birch said the new venture would ‘benefit both the tourism industry and local community’.