Published: 06:00, 19 February 2020
| Updated: 10:30, 19 February 2020
A popular seafront pub could get a new lease of life as a fish and chip shop and amusement arcade.
Cain’s Amusements, which owns the arcade next to Leysdown’s Talk of the Town on the Isle of Sheppey, has applied to Swale council for a change of use.
The Herne Bay company wants to knock down walls to extend its Playtime arcade into the former public house.
Plans include a downstairs fish and chip restaurant and takeaway. It is also seeking to convert the rooms upstairs into three self-contained flats.
Director David Cain said: “Sheppey is calling out for a seafood restaurant on the seafront. We also wanted to save the Talk of the Town from falling into disrepair because it is such an iconic building. This ticks all the boxes.”
The company, which already employs eight people in Leysdown, says the venture will create an additional 10 full-time and two part-time jobs. There will be new red bi-fold doors and pewter-coloured cladding along the front.
Cains bought the eight-bedroom property in September before it was due to be auctioned. It had a guide price of £350,000. The company admitted it first thought of buying it as long ago as 2009.
Former owner Chris Prime and his wife Jackie gave up running the live-music pub in October 2018 after new regulations were enforced by the police. A tenant took over for a while but since then it has been empty.
Mr Prime said: “I’m just glad to see the back of it. We were there for 29 years. I am 69 so it is time to retire. I thought Cains might extend their arcade but a fish and chip shop is all news to me."
He added: “It was always the customers who made the pub. Many of them have switched to the Warden Bay.”
Leysdown is now left with only one pub, the Rose and Crown. Merlins leisure centre closed a year ago.
Cains, which also has an arcade in Sheerness, says its proposals are in line with the Swale Local Plan to “value tourism and culture to support regeneration.”
More by this authorJohn Nurden