After months of building work and a six-figure investment by the independent, family-owned brewery, the Old Market House was officially launched on Thursday (September 8).
The renovation of the flagship building, situated in an enviable position overlooking the quayside, has created a substantial boost to the Devon economy, providing 30 new jobs and supporting local food producers.
The Grade II listed building has been sympathetically restored and retains its original feel as a working, harbourside building, which is part of its heritage. The walls have been stripped back to the original stonework and an asbestos roof has been replaced with traditional slate.
The first floor will offer table service dining, complete with a spectacular glass balcony running the length of the building. The ground floor will have a more informal feel.
Both will offer fresh, locally sourced food from the South West, accompanied by award-winning St Austell ales and fine wines. The casual dining menu will be homemade in open kitchens and cooked to order, with an abundance of local ingredients from producers including Stefan’s Fishmongers, for Brixham landed fish, and Brixham Seafarms, which will supply local mussels.
Menus will include QR codes next to some dishes, so smartphone users can see the details of local suppliers, ingredients and even download recipes.
Adam Luck, St Austell Brewery’s Estate Director, said: “This is an exciting opportunity for us and will give us our first premises in Brixham.
“We are a local family firm proud to be supporting the local community and we look forward to extending our famous warm welcome to the people of Brixham.
“We hope the Old Market House shines the spotlight on the town and all it has to offer.”
St Austell Brewery and Nirvana Properties Ltd have worked together on the project, which has been four years in the making, although the Brewery will operate the Old Market House as a venue.
It will be managed by Rhys Heavens, with Michelin-trained Graham Clapson as head chef.
Rhys, who grew up in Torquay and has previously managed several restaurants and venues in the Torbay area, said he was excited to be involved in such a landmark project for Brixham.
“The Old Market House is such an iconic building and I firmly believe offering great service and quality food will make it a key attraction in the town,” he said. “We will be offering something for everyone – from families to large parties, business meetings and events.”
David White at Torbay Development Agency said: “Torbay Development Agency is delighted with this latest stage in the regeneration of Brixham, complementing and adding value to the £20 million Brixham Fish Market project.
“The Old Market House is a flagship building for Brixham and enjoys a prime position overlooking the harbour and the wider vista of Tor Bay, therefore it has been renovated to a high quality specification in keeping with its heritage status.
“The new restaurant will bring the building back to life as a viable and publically accessible focal point for Brixham visitors and residents and as a driver for the town’s daytime and evening economy.”
St Austell Brewery is well-known for its range of quality hotel, inn and pub accommodation within its estate. In 2009 the Brewery was named Regional Brewer of the Year in recognition of its pubs, its award-winning ales and its innovative approach to business, combined with strong community and family values.
The Old Market House opens to the public on September 10. It will be open for breakfast from 8am, with food being served throughout the day until 10pm.
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