Family plans to re-open seaside restaurant - nearly a year after it closed
PUBLISHED: 09:30 30 January 2020 | UPDATED: 09:30 30 January 2020
A highly-regarded high street restaurant is set to re-open in Aldeburgh under new owners - after closing nearly a year ago.
Town residents Layden-Grant and Frances Seymour - who run the 4 FUN Playcentre in Saxmundham - are gearing up for the launch of restaurant and coffee shop business Seymours Aldeburgh.
The couple, who previously ran a coffee shop chain in Essex called Olivers, said they wanted to create "a quality place offering great service with a family feel" and felt the site had "huge potential".
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The Seymour family - which includes nine children - moved to Aldeburgh in 2018 and last year was filmed for a Channel 5 series on large, hard-working families called My 10 Kids & Me: Mega Families, which is currently airing.
The restaurant - previously 152, then The East Coast Cafe - lies in a prime location with a walkway from the high street to the beach.
"Unfortunately it closed its doors nearly a year ago due to a variety of reasons," explained Mr Seymour.
"It has a great sea view whilst being on the High Street. It really is a great location.
"It was loved by many locals and visitors to Aldeburgh and attracted many a famous face such as Taylor Swift, but after many months of inactivity it had become in urgent need of a refurbishment, and new owners to love it again.
"Frances thought I was mad even considering it, as we had only opened 4 FUN Playcentre a few months earlier, but I saw it as an opportunity that I couldn't afford to miss. She soon saw the huge potential and she quickly got on board."
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Jason Shaw, previously of the Brudenell Hotel in Aldeburgh and before that the Ritz in London, who is their "fantastic" head chef at the play centre, will run the restaurant side, while Frances takes the lead in the coffee shop, with help from daughter Taylor, 21. Son Oliver, who owns Planet Pizza at the play centre, will be bringing his freshly-made stone-baked pizzas.
"Our family values and strength will be behind our business - we used to have a chain of coffee shops in Essex called Olivers, so coffee shops are in our DNA. We are going to open a great coffee shop keeping in line with the quality that Aldeburgh already offers - comfortable seating, scrumptious cakes, dreamy lattes, all served with passion and warmth," said Mr Seymour.
"Aldeburgh is an absolutely stunning place, and will stay that way as long as we look after it. The high street is very prosperous and we need to keep the selection of shops interesting. We certainly do not need to be just another high street full of chains.
"Seymours is going to be a quality place offering great service with a family feel making it very welcoming. In this current business climate we read virtually every day about a shop closing."
They were taking a risk with the new venture, he admitted, but believed they had a great location, and along with the Seymour name, will create "a winner".
"Coffee shops and restaurants in particular have had a hard time. Many have closed recently in East Anglia - but we are bucking the trend."
Now they are busy recruiting for both the Aldeburgh and Saxmundham sites, he said, adding that he already had his sights set on another play centre.
"We cannot wait to welcome our first guests through the doors - it's going to be a great new adventure," he said.
"We are going to love working there and our guests are going love being there. Seymours Aldeburgh will be an asset to the town and I firmly believe it will play its part in keeping Aldeburgh a jewel in Suffolk's crown."
The Seymours are planning a split opening for their new venture. Following refurbishment work - which is ongoing - they are hoping to open the coffee shop in late February. The restaurant will launch later in the spring, and they are hoping to have it up and running in time for Easter.