Lancing Perch owners get a warm welcome to Worthing's Southern Pavilion

Alex Hole at the cafe on the pier
Alex Hole at the cafe on the pier

The owners of a Lancing cafe who recently took over the Southern Pavilion on Worthing Pier have said they are 'excited' to kick off the cafe's next chapter.

For the last two weeks, the Southern Pavilion has been trading with a limited menu of tea and cakes, ahead of a full refurbishment and rebrand which is planned for later this year.

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Alex Hole, the managing director of The Perch, on Lancing’s Beach Green, said the response from the public so far had been 'really positive'.

"We've had some really kind feedback on social media," he said.

"We've met some amazing local residents, I met a couple who met here in the sixties when it was a dance hall and were coming back for their wedding anniversary.

"Everyone has really strong memories about it in its various iterations.

"It's really what can we do now in terms of its next chapter."

Plans are currently being drawn up for the new look of the venue, which was opened as a bistro and function space in April 2014 after renovation, having previously been a nightclub since 2007.

Mr Hole said it would look quite different once the transformation was complete.

"We've already got some rough plans starting to materialise," he said. "We are just trying to work our way through the options.

"It's really quite a special building.

"We want it to be an approachable venue, the same kind of feel in terms of families as what we have in Lancing. We want people to use it.

"I honestly can't explain how excited we are to get into it as a project."

He said he had been in discussion with Worthing Borough Council over the plans.

Councillor Kevin Jenkins, Worthing Borough Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration, welcomed the 'fresh lease of life' the new owners would bring to the building.

He said: "It will be great to see the company behind the Perch on Lancing Beach bring their skills and uniqueness to the Southern Pavilion and further enhancing the seafront offering, making the most of the space available at the end of the UK’s current reigning ‘Pier of the Year’.

“I would also like to sincerely thank Phil Duckett and his team for all their hard work in restoring the building, giving it a new purpose and a local offer that added to the vitality of the town.

“Worthing’s Pier was the thirteenth to be built in England back in 1862, and remains a fine example of its kind, bringing enjoyment to residents and visitors.

“I look forward to the fresh lease of life the team from the Perch on Lancing Beach will bring for the next chapter in the Pier’s history.”

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