Home   Herne Bay   News   Article

New fish restaurant The Cookhouse Herne Bay set to launch at former Le Petit Poisson site


More news, no ads

LEARN MORE

A town business tycoon is set to launch a new fish restaurant in a long-vacant seafront building.

Mehmet Dari, owner of the A La Turka restaurants, is breathing new life into the former Le Petit Poisson site on Herne Bay promenade - which he is reopening as The Cookhouse.

Mehmet Dari outside The Cookhouse premises on Herne Bay seafront. Picture: Gerry Warren
Mehmet Dari outside The Cookhouse premises on Herne Bay seafront. Picture: Gerry Warren

The restaurateur is spending about £150,000 renovating the single-storey premises - where he hopes to build a rooftop terrace in future.

It will be the 41-year-old’s fifth business in the town.

Mr Dari already owns four A La Turka restaurants including one in Herne Bay, with a fifth set to launch in Whitstable.

He also runs Herne Bay’s The Grapevine wine and meze bar, Sunset Fish Bar, and is building a seafront hotel in the town.

Mr Dari says he had his eye on the Le Petit Poisson site for some time, before snapping it up a couple of months ago.

Le Petit Poisson, pictured in 2011 when it became the first restaurant in Herne Bay to be listed in the Michelin guide. Picture: Barry Goodwin
Le Petit Poisson, pictured in 2011 when it became the first restaurant in Herne Bay to be listed in the Michelin guide. Picture: Barry Goodwin

“I’m excited - like I’m opening my first restaurant,” he said.

“It was on-and-off closed, open, and it’s almost closed one year now. It’s a beautiful place. I’ve been watching this place for more than 10 years.”

Le Petit Poisson formerly had huge success as a fish restaurant - becoming Herne Bay’s first restaurant to earn a place in the Michelin Guide, in 2011.

Mr Dari says seafood will be the main fare at The Cookhouse.

“There will also be steak, and a bar with wine and cocktails, but mainly it will be a fish restaurant,” he said.

The site's exterior has already been refurbished, and its interior is now being renovated. Picture: Gerry Warren
The site's exterior has already been refurbished, and its interior is now being renovated. Picture: Gerry Warren

He says he will aim to source produce from local fisheries where possible, and that he hopes to keep prices reasonable.

“We’ve got to look after the local people so we don’t want to go crazy on the prices, and obviously we also don’t want to be too cheap,” he said.

Mr Dari, who lives in Herne Bay, says he is pleased to be reviving a prominent building.

“It’s not only about money, it’s also about caring for the area, looking after the area,” he said.

He says it will cost between £100,000 and £150,000 to refurbish the premises.

“It’s not only about money, it’s also about caring for the area, looking after the area...”

“We’ve already done all the painting and the shopfront,” he said.

“We’ve got to build up a bar, build up the kitchen - we’ve got rid of everything.”

The Cookhouse will cater for between 80 and 100 guests, and will employ about 20 people.

Mr Dari also plans to apply for permission to build a rooftop seating area, from which diners can enjoy sea views.

He hopes The Cookhouse will be open by the spring.

Head to our business page for all of the latest news about businesses in Kent

Read more: All the latest news from Herne Bay

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More