Work on new beach-front bistro gets underway

85 days ago

Work has begun on the transformation of Llanelli’s former North Dock Discovery Centre to an impressive three-storey beach-front restaurant.

To be known as St. Elli’s Bay café & bistro, the venture will include a ground floor café and outside plaza eating space, first floor restaurant with panoramic sea views and an exclusive top-floor space, available for special events and private hire.

A new interactive tourist information space will be created and the ice cream kiosk will also remain.

The people behind the transformation are new leaseholders Emilio and Camelia Fragiacomo, who own the popular Langland's Brasserie on Gower, just around the corner from Mumbles, Swansea.

All staff from the former café at the Discovery Centre have been offered roles within the new venture, and many further jobs are being created, with recruitment opening soon.

The building is currently closed for the re-fit, with the aim of the ground floor café being open in time for the summer season. It is a multi-phase development with work to create the first floor bistro and top floor event space planned for the future.

During the renovation the previous public access toilets will be temporarily unavailable, an unavoidable part of the works. However, temporary portable toilets have been provided for visitors to the area, courtesy of the new leaseholders.

The building is owned by Carmarthenshire County Council, whose Executive Board agreed an approach by the former and current leaseholders to transfer the lease and create a new restaurant.

Leader, Cllr Emlyn Dole, said the venture will improve the offer at this key location along Llanelli’s Millennium Coastal Park

“I know there are lots of local people looking forward to the opening of St. Elli’s Bay café & bistro, and I’m sure this will support our wider tourism economy by attracting people from further afield,” he said.

“I was glad to meet Emilio and Camelia recently and hear of their aspirations for the building, in particular their commitment to current staff and their promise of new job opportunities as they prepare to open.

“Emilio and Camelia are investing significant money to transform this building, which will improve the offer for visitors to Llanelli beach, safe-guarding facilities and saving the council long-term in terms of building running costs – for us it’s a win-win.”

In addition to the couple’s major investment, this project has received funding from the Micro and Small Business Fund (MSBF) through the Welsh Government Rural Communities - Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.

Emilio added: “We are looking forward to bringing the St. Elli’s Bay café & bistro to Llanelli, providing our customers the opportunity to dine in such wonderful natural surroundings with beautiful views across the Carmarthenshire coast.

“We are working hard to renovate and re-fit the building ahead of the summer season where we hope to have the ground floor section open for business and will be pleased to offer jobs to local people to join the wonderful team of staff who are already a familiar face to regular visitors.

“Llanelli is a beautiful area with huge potential, which is why we wanted to grow our business into Carmarthenshire. We are grateful of all the support we have already received and look forward to opening soon.”

This project has received funding through the Welsh Government Rural Communities - Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.