Plans have been approved that will lead to the development of a top quality restaurant and café on the site of the old Wish Tower restaurant.
Members of Eastbourne’s cabinet making committee agreed on Monday night to recruit a project manager who will oversee the marketing of the site and the subsequent appointment of a restaurant operator.
It has always been hoped that a top name would provide the eatery and it would become a signature or destination restaurant that people would go out of their way to visit and put the town on the map.
Jamie Oliver, Gordon Ramsey and other top chefs were at the top of the council’s wish list.
It will be built on the site of the former Wish Tower cafe and sunlounge which was demolished by Eastbourne Borough Council after it fell in to a state of disrepair.
Currently on the site is the Western View, a temporary offering until redevelopment plans go ahead.
The council and the new operator will share the funding for the scheme with £1.2million coming from the £2million grant fund received from the Department of Communities and Local Government in the wake of the Eastbourne Pier blaze. More than £800,000 from the fund is also being allocated to a range of other projects to boost the town’s visitor economy.
Eastbourne Chamber of Commerce chief executive Christina Ewbank, said, “They say location, location, location, well locations don’t come much better for a restaurant than the Wish Tower.
“When it opens it will become one of the hottest tickets in town. There is undoubtedly a palpable sense of momentum in Eastbourne as a number of landmark projects begin to come together.”
The architects for the new restaurant and café are yet to be confirmed.
However, councillors unanimously agreed the venue will reflect the generous donation made by the Foyle family to build the original seafront café as a commemoration to the civilians in Eastbourne killed during World War II.
Council leader David Tutt said, “It is only through the outstanding contribution of the Foyle family to Eastbourne in the 1950s that we are even contemplating this exciting new venue.
“I’ve no doubt it will look sensational and attract visitors from far and wide.”
“With the façade of the Congress Theatre recently completed and work moving ahead on the redevelopment of the neighbouring Devonshire Park, the creation of a high quality restaurant within the wider complex will further enhance the offer to visitors and residents.
“I have always been clear that a permanent restaurant and café providing a superb dining experience for local people and tourists would be developed alongside the Wish Tower. That commitment will now be fulfilled and when complete we will be able to enjoy good food while absorbing the town’s sensational seafront vista.”
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