Ten years ago, Ian and Carol Jones bought the newly refurbished Ocean Fish Bar in the seaside town of Cleethorpes, North East Lincolnshire. Having spent much of their lives running large pub chains, the pair relished the idea of owning the busy 130 seater restaurant and takeaway.
Although they have successfully grown the thriving business in that time, the shopfront began to look tired and was in need of some attention. Ian explains: “We repainted the shopfront a few times but it wasn’t having the impact that we wanted, so we decided to refurbish it completely. Cleethorpes is moving on. It’s not a tacky seaside town anymore, it's more sophisticated now and we wanted to move on with it.”
After speaking to three shopfitters, Ian went with Barland Shopfitters
who installed a brand new brushed aluminium and glass shopfront, complete with small bronze mosaic wall tiles and green hedgerow detailing.
As well as striking new gold lettering clearly depicting the shop name, Ian added the word “restaurant” to the signage, highlighting the fact to passers-by the fact they could eat-in. It’s been a great move, as Ian explains: “The owners before us hadn’t put the word 'restaurant” on the shop sign, only on the transfers on the windows which didn’t stand out. Where we are, we’re only about an hour’s drive from South Yorkshire so we get a lot of day-trippers coming up and parking in the car park opposite. Since we’ve had the new signage, we’ve had so many new customers come in and say they didn’t know we had a restaurant until now. It’s been great for us and I would say trade has gone up by about 8%, which might not sound a lot but we are a very busy shop so that 8% is quite substantial.”
As well as the shopfront, Barland redecorated the customer area, putting in new mosaic tiling and a TV screen, and also refurbished the potato prep room using plastic wall cladding and a resin floor. The most popular feature by far, however, has been the purpose-built bench placed in the window where customers can sit and wait while their fish and chips are freshly cooked. “We get a lot of comments about the bench," adds Ian. "Before we just had chairs, which looked a bit tacky. The bench is something a bit different and it’s all about being different in the restaurant business.”
Delivering on all their promises, including time, cost and quality, Ian says he would be hard pushed to give Barland anything but 10/10 for the refurbishment, adding: “We agreed we would close for ten days and Barland kept to that, which was important as we had to pay staff and, obviously we didn’t want to lose any more sales.
“The shop looks fantastic and it’s been really well-received. I’m hoping in January now to have the restaurant refurbished.”
Barland Shopfitters 01484 549310 www.barlandshopfitters.co.uk