Seafood restaurant plan for Whitehaven pub

An established fishery business in Whitehaven is expanding with plans to convert an empty pub into a high quality seafood restaurant.

Richard Donnan, of Donnan Quayside Fisheries, North Shore Road in Whitehaven, currently supplies fresh fish to hotels, pubs, restaurants and private customers.

The business has been in the family for two generations, established by his father who also operated a number of trawlers.

Richard has now acquired the Distressed Sailor, Egremont Road, a venue which has been closed for around 18 months. He was advised by Martin Long and Malcolm Ireland, partners in the Leisure team at Napthens solicitors.

He now plans to turn the pub into a seafood restaurant, to be run by his wife Anne. Significant renovation work will first need to be carried out, with an official opening expected to take place in the Autumn. The venture should create around six jobs as the restaurant takes on staff.

Martin Long of Napthens said: “The name Donnan Quayside Fisheries is well known in the Whitehaven area, and opening a restaurant using the same high quality fresh fish the business already sells was a logical step.

“Richard and Anne are passionate about this project and I can’t wait to see what they achieve with their new venture.”

Richard Donnan added: “There is no doubt the fishing business has changed drastically while we have operated Donnan Quayside Fisheries, and it is vital to move with the times and diversify in order to remain successful.

“We have built up a great reputation for quality and we were very keen to expand our offering. The Distressed Sailor was a great fit for us. It has a great location for passing trade and we are now starting on a fairly extensive overhaul of the property. “Ultimately we aim to transform it from a bar-focussed venue to a restaurant serving our fresh fish, locally sourced.”