New lease of life for iconic Seaton seafront cafe

Seaton's Chine Cafe Picture: CHRIS CARSON

Seaton's Chine Cafe Picture: CHRIS CARSON - Credit: Archant

Major improvements under way at The Chine

Seaton’s former Chine Café - unoccupied since 2014 - is to receive a complete makeover ready for a spring launch under a new owner.

Hazel Goodier, 44, a former chemistry teacher and mother-of-three from Branscombe, has taken a 25-year lease on the 1920s-style building, which is currently undergoing extensive renovation and remodelling works.

The new café premises, which is to be renamed ‘The Hideaway’, will extend to 1,335 square feet - twice the size of the original building - when complete and will incorporate a community toilet facility that will be available when the café is open.

The building’s owners, East Devon District Council (EDDC), began marketing the property early in 2015, when it received considerable interest from potential lessees. By early summer, a preferred tenant had been chosen, who then had to undertake a structural survey, as well as gain planning consent for a change of use for the existing public toilets to become part of the café - part of the terms of the lease.

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Commenting on her new venture, Hazel Goodier said: “I want to retain the 1920s period style appearance of the building, while opening up internal walls and making the toilets part of café kitchen.

“The new improved layout will increase the number of covers that I can offer and will increase the economic viability of the café enormously.

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“I am thrilled to have taken over the lease of these well known, but now outdated premises. This is a wonderful opportunity to inject fresh life into the café, which I intend to turn into a vibrant eatery, offering locally sourced produce, together with a small retail section, showcasing local crafts.

“We will be open from 9am to 4pm, hopefully seven days a week during the summer season, serving light lunches and sweet treats. I may also open on occasional summer evenings and would love to hear people’s views on that idea.

“I have many fond memories and personal links to Seaton, plus I fell in love with the café’s position. And I have been hugely impressed with the level of support that local friends and family have given me for this project. I met my builder, John Wheeler, through Seaton Cricket Club and he is pulling out all the stops to ensure that we can open in early spring.”

EDDC’s portfolio holder for economy and chairman of Seaton Regeneration Board, Councillor Phil Skinner, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to benefit from the regeneration of Seaton and the new Jurassic visitor centre. The new café will complement the visitor offering in Seaton perfectly.”

EDDC environment spokesman Cllr Iain Chubb said: “The new loos at the café will offer a much-improved facility that will be available for both customers and visitors alike, while at the same time making a much-needed saving to the public purse.”

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