Colmans Seafood Temple
One of most iconic landmarks in South Shields has undergone a radical makeover after years of neglect to create a fish and chips haven by the sea.
Colmans Seafood Temple has opened to the public, becoming the second restaurant for fish and chip specialists Colmans of South Shields. Transforming the site traditionally known to locals as Gandi’s Temple, the restaurant has 75 covers in the main dining room and 30 covers in the bar.
Overlooking a stunning coastline, Colmans Seafood Temple makes the most of glorious views through a largely glass exterior. Colmans owner Richard Ord took time to speak to Premier Hospitality about the project:
“The building is one I have admired over the years but it had sadly come into disrepair. I had been looking to expand the business and we thought we could make something of the building at the same time.
“It was a very complicated build. We sympathetically added a new piece to an old, existing structure which was never going to be easy. The architects did a superb job along with the main contractor Brims.
“The interior design is very simple. The majority of the building is glass so the interior is as simple as possible. The main dining room features a great centrepiece light fitting that we had commissioned.”
“The bar is totally enclosed in glass and is a place to sit, eat and take in the beautiful views. Virtually every diner sitting down to eat has a fantastic view.”
In addition to the famous fish and chips Colmans is known for, the new restaurant makes the most of the classic local seafood on its doorstep including lobsters and oysters. The cocktail bar doubles up as an oyster bar with the best local produce as well as guest oysters.
Given the prominent location and standing of the existing structure, planning for the new venue had to be given careful consideration. Richard commented:
“The main challenges came in the planning process .To get the right build for that area it needed to be sympathetically done. It’s in a prominent positon in South Shields and needed to be special to fit in. You want a building that deserves to be there.”
Family run since the 1920s, Colmans have been serving customers for over four generations winning regional and national accolades in the process. At the heart of the Colmans brand is a commitment to locally sourced ingredients that have been produced using sustainable methods.
The flagship restaurant for the company is located on Ocean Road, South Shields and has won rave reviews from national newspapers and magazines as well as converting a number of celebrity admirers in the process.
Alongside the more traditional cod and haddock fish choices, plaice, lemon sole and hake are just as popular. Handmade fishcakes cooked in a secret recipe batter are also a customer favourite with a choice of crab cakes, Thai prawn cakes, and smoked salmon and dill cakes.
Colmans Seafood Temple marks a new chapter for the company but at the same time serve as a reminder to its origins, with Richard explaining:
“The new restaurant is in the spot where my great-grandfather started the business in 1905 so we have completed the full circle. To go back is very special indeed.”
Established in 1990, Crosbys specialise in the design, supply and installation of commercial kitchens and bars. The company supply everything from ladles to teaspoons, crockery, cutlery and glass as well as furniture cleaning chemicals and janitorial solutions. The business offers fast and efficient delivery as well as manufacturing expertise, a huge local showroom and stock available same day.
Local to the north, Crosbys supply chain and independent restaurants, schools, hospitals and nursing homes, their forte being with the independent restaurateur. Most recently, Crosbys were involved with Seafood Temple.
Projects and Design Team Manager, Paul Carpenter, commented:
“The brief was to create a kitchen that mixed old school ideas with some of the latest equipment and high-end bespoke fabrication. From sinks bigger than most baths to the latest in refrigeration technology to ensure the fish and meat is kept in the very best conditions possible. It’s been a real pleasure working with a North East intuition and without doubt one of the best fish and chips restaurants in country.”
“As a company we pride ourselves on service and building long lasting relationships with our customers.”