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Shock closure of revamped dining rooms on the seafront
1:00pm Thursday 23rd August 2012 in Local News
A SEAFRONT restaurant which underwent a £50,000 makeover has closed just eight months after it was relaunched.
The Brad Simpson Dining Rooms, also known as the Monico Dining Rooms, in Eastern Esplanade, Canvey , had offered a British tapas menu.
Owner Brad Simpson took on the business in 2011, but it is unclear why he has called time on the venture. He was head chef there between 2005 and 2007, and returned to run it after working in a number of top restaurants in Essex and London.
Following the refurbishment over Christmas last year, the dining rooms were officially reopened in January. The venue was also used by the Laughing Pod comedy club, which is based in Southend.
It is not all bad news for business on Canvey.
Suzanne Gray, 44, of Monico Leisure – the company which owns the Monico building – said she is confident someone else will come forward to run the dining rooms and said it was an “exciting” time.
Other new businesses are also popping up along the seafront, including the Oyster Sports Bar, CK Bar and Mrs Gray’s next venture, Jimmy Mac’s, opposite the Monico.
Mrs Gray, from Benfleet , said: “All of a sudden there’s a rumble on the seafront – a small strip is developing which we hope will make the seafront a lot better and turn it into the jewel in the crown that it should be.
“A busier seafront will create more employment and make everyone else much better off, because people want to come down here. It certainly gives the Canvey community something to look forward to.”
Castle Point councillor for Canvey Island West, Ray Howard , said he was sad to hear about the closure of the dining rooms.
But he hoped the redevelopment of the former Canvey Casino site would boost trade and the overall attractiveness of the seafront.
He added: “There’s nothing worse than people having to close a business, but I do hope when that extra development comes into being, coupled with existing businesses, it will do well, particularly if the economy starts turning round.”
Mr Simpson was unavailable for comment.