Plans to revitalise St Annes seafront with a landmark new restaurant have had to be put back until the new year.
Veli Kirk, proprietor of the hugely-successful Anatolia Turkish eaterie in the town centre, had been hoping a ‘big sister’ restaurant overlooking the Irish Sea at The Island complex would be open by now.
But investigations following a leak revealed damage to the roof which will require several months’ work to repair – and further substantial financial outlay.
However, Veli, who is already spending what he says is a substantial six-figure sum on the project, reckons it could cost up to £90,00 to rectify.
But he is as determined as ever to make a success of the new eaterie.
“At first, when I heard about the extra work that was needed, I was upset – but it hasn’t dampened my enthusiasm at all, and it will all be well worthwhile when it is completed,” he said.
“The kitchen is fitted out, the furniture is ready to be brought in, but I am now liaising with builders to see how long the work will take. I have heard indications it could be 16 weeks, so I am now looking at the new year for opening.”
The new restaurant, to be named Anatolia Seaview, will have four times the capacity of the 34-cover Anatolia, which Veli opened in Park Road in 2010.
He plans an extended Mediterranean menu and aims to make the most of the seafront setting, with tables outdoors on the balcony in good weather.
“It will happen and we really want to make a success of this,” he said. “There is so much potential in that area, and I hope it will help boost that area. I love St Annes and I want to do everything I can to make the town successful.”
St Annes Mayor Coun Ed Nash said: “I am sorry to hear about the delay to Veli’s plans, but he is a determined man who is a real force for good in the town, and if anyone can make a success of this project, he can.”