Keith Newman

Member Article

Spanish City restaurant's continental feel

A CAFÉ that was once part of the famous Spanish City is bringing that Continental feel back to Whitley Bay.

Famous for its Venetian ice cream brand, The Bayside Café used to be called The Mint. But under its new name, The Bayside Cafe’s family customers will enjoy a traditional restaurant feel on the ground floor, with the added extra of a playroom upstairs to keep the kids amused.

The cafe is set for a new look, new menu and new management, as Lavinia Goodall hands over the reins to her daughter Lauren and son-in-law Graeme Haines.

The couple have applied for planning permission to erect canopies outside the cafe, so customers can enjoy the food, views and music in the fresh air, whatever the weather. They also have plans for a rooftop garden, where people can sit and look out to sea.

Lavinia has been in the ice cream business for 30 years.

She said: “The canopies will bring a touch of the Continent to Whitley Bay.

“I was here when the town was at its peak when the Spanish City was in full swing, and I’ve seen it decline.

“But I’m confident it can become a thriving seaside town again, if more businesses are prepared to try new ideas to bring people back into Whitley Bay. If I start with the canopies, I am confident that other businesses will follow suit.”

Son-in-law Graham is a chef, who has cooked his way around the world. He has come up with a new menu to appeal to locals and visitors, in keeping with the European feel of the canopies and the restaurant’s atmosphere. But regulars will still be able to enjoy fish and chips, pizzas and burgers with their sea views, plus plenty of Lavinia’s Venetian ice cream on the sweet menu.

Lavinia said: “Graham is young and enthusiastic and has lots of great ideas for The Bayside Café.

“He is an excellent chef and amongst his many talents he specialises in making traditional hand-made pizza dough and bases on the premises. I feel that now is the time to pass on my 30-years’ knowledge of running the business to him and Lauren.

“I am looking forward to retiring, knowing that The Bayside Café is in capable hands and playing its part in helping Whitley Bay return to its former glory.”

The Bayside is opened for business in its new guise a week recently and aims to attract families visiting the seaside over the summer months.

The cafe is re-opening as wider regeneration work starts in Whitley Bay. North Tyneside Council has just been awarded £1.9m from the Government’s Coastal Communities Fund, part of which will be pumped into the town.

The Bayside Cafe is a perfect window on the nearby Spanish City Dome, which is being turned into an entertainment and leisure complex. A new hotel and apartments are also set to be built nearby.

Lavinia said: “I’m confident that the good times are just around the corner for Whitley Bay, and I’m sure The Bayside Cafe will play its part in bringing people back to the town.”


Photo shows: Lavinia and Graham at the newly refurbished Bayside Café

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Keith Newman .

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