A NEW beach restaurant has opened its doors on the seafront for one month only.
The Bayside Restaurant Bar & Grill will be open from Monday August 1 to Tuesday August 30 between Bournemouth and Boscombe piers.
The new Toft Zig Zag site has a wood frame structure, indoor and outdoor seating, and private beach access.
The month-long dining experience can accommodate up to 180 people indoors at any one time, with an additional 80 people outdoors on a wooden deck.
Run by Chef Gideon Hitchin, the Bayside Restaurant serves a range of meals including fish and chips, light snacks like salads or crab sandwiches and local lobster or Portland pearl oysters.
David and Tracey Williams of Slick Events Limited organized the project in partnership with the BCP Council.
Tracey said: “It’s a BCP Council funded project and they hired us to do it, so that’s what we did.
“The bayside restaurant aims to provide a quality offering when it comes to decent restaurant food but in an exceptional location.
“We are right on the beach, so we look for high quality service and food, but we also work with local suppliers.
“We have recruited 70 people who will be working over the next 6 weeks, so we are operating from 10am to 10:30pm, seven days a week. We do everything from gourmet burgers to lobster and champagne, so we are basically for everyone .
David said: “I would say the concept is to look at the Mediterranean lifestyle that you get when you go on holiday, so if you’re in Spain or France you have the beach restaurants and it’s maybe to be introducing this as a concept for the future for Bournemouth that we can be a St Tropez.
“We have the fantastic coat line, the beautiful views and by providing this experience on the beach, it maybe gives the affluent people of the city a place to come for something special.
The restaurant is part of the BCP Council’s plan to assess the viability of allowing more hospitality activities on the beach.
Tracey said: “The project is a pilot this year so BCP is looking to see how successful it is in piloting and if there is a requirement for it in the local community.
“If it’s successful I think they’re looking at a longer term base for next year and they’ll put in things like electricity and water supply, so we can be here from Easter through summer. .”
More than 1,800 people have already booked to visit Bayside. If the pilot is successful, the council said the feasibility would be assessed to set up an infrastructure to allow such trading to occur more easily in the future.
Cllr Beverley Dunlop, Portfolio Holder for Culture and Vibrant Places, said: ‘The vision we have had over the past two or three years has been to completely change the waterfront, to make it an exciting place, to make it a place you wanted to be and if we look at that now, it’s just fabulous.
“You could be anywhere in the world but you don’t have to be anywhere in the world and I think the point is to have a beautiful restaurant on the seafront where you can come with your family, with your friends, with your co-workers and it’s just amazing.
“We have several pop-up restaurants along the waterfront, but this is definitely a cut above and that’s where we want to go.
“We want an exciting waterfront, we want people to think that if they want to go somewhere there’s an amazing restaurant here and it’s unique. There must be very few places that have something like this on the seafront.
“I would love to spend the whole summer next year and who knows where we might go from there, but I think that’s the future. We’re really behind it and I hope everyone does. too.”
The Bayside Restaurant Bar & Grill will be open seven days a week and will offer brunch from 10 a.m. to noon, followed by a full menu including seafood and steaks until 10 p.m. each evening.