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Colmans fish and chip business to open new South Shields seafront restaurant

South Shields family fish and chip business Colmans is transforming one of the town’s iconic seafront buildings into a new restaurant, creating 35 jobs.

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Originally built as a community seating shelter and public toilets in 1931 and later used as bandstand, work to regenerate Gandhi’s Temple on Sea Road is set to be completed by Spring next year.

Sunderland contractor Brims Construction has began work on the site which will lead to the creation of Colmans Seafood Temple.

Owners Richard and Frances Ord, along with sons Dominic and Richard (Junior), spoke of their delight in transforming one of the resort’s most famous buildings,
Richard Ord, senior, said:  “I love the idea of restoring a piece of our town’s history and heritage too. It is a fantastic site and somewhere we feel we can make a real impact.

“We are eager to create a restaurant which engages with those that live, work and visit South Shields.

“The Colmans Seafood Temple will offer everyday quality and value for money, featuring a cocktail and oyster bar and a takeaway which will, of course, serve our famous fish and chips.“

Colmans, was established by Mr Ord’s great grandfather as Frankie’s in a hut on the beach in 1905 – just a stone’s throw away from Gandhi’s Temple.

It has won countless awards, including Best Restaurant in the National Fish and Chip Awards, and is now based on Ocean Road where it employs 35 people with a further 35 jobs expected at the new development.
Jason Wood, director at Brims Construction, said: “We are very proud to be involved in the transformation of such an iconic landmark into a new family seafood restaurant, cocktail bar and takeaway.“

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He said the stone constructed bandstand will form the western part of the new building with a new extension on the seaward side.

Richard Ord, junior, added: “No-one quite knows how it got the name. It really is an iconic building that had fallen into a very poor state of repair.

“For many years we have thought about what we could do to transform it before coming up with what, we believe, is the ideal project, and we are pleased to see South Tyneside Council and the town rally to support our plans.“

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