Work begins on Seaham clifftop cafe revamp ready to welcome daytrippers after lockdown eases
Transformation work underway to give a Seaham seafront cafe a new look ready to welcome customers as lockdown eases.
Tonia’s, in Seaham Hall Car Park, is set to become North Beach Coffee Bar, with new owner Sean Golightly working to a deadline of Monday, May 17, the date the Government has laid down as the earliest date hospitality venues will be allowed to open.
It could create up to 15 full and part time roles, serving up barista coffees, teas, milkshakes, pastries and cakes, light lunches and full English breakfasts, with vegetarian and vegan options planned.
It will have a licence serve alcohol, with live music and Christmas events in the pipeline.
Changes to the building, first developed from a toilet block under the eye of the Durham Heritage Coast team, have already begun.
They will see a full floor to ceiling window installed, a patio area created for outdoor seating and a takeaway kiosk set up to beat the queues at the busiest times, with other expansion plans in the works.
It will offer 50 seats inside and 45 outside, while 100-year-old wood once part of a Polish barn has been shipped over to be turned into a counter and tables, with the site benefiting from its coastal spot and free parking.
Sean said: “The support we’ve had so far from people on social media has been great, lots of people sending their best wishes and that’s a great indication of the clientele we’ll welcome when we open, it’s going to be a very nice place."
Sean, who has previously run the Coffee Quarter converted from a former Barclays bank on the Team Valley, has worked on the plans with building owner Durham County Council and its economic development officer Julie Anson,buying the lease from the previous business bosses.
In a farewell message from Tonia’s, the team wished the new owner “every success” and said: “Well, all good things come to an end eventually.
“After over 40 years in the Jobes family we have officially handed on the mantle of serving you from Seaham Hall car park to North Beach Coffee Bar.
“Thank you all for your custom over the years and we'll miss you all.”