Seaham's popular Pier East: Fish Shack and Grill returns to harbour after lockdown
It’s the seafood heaven its fans say they want to keep a secret.
Pier East: Fish Shack and Grill has created a firm following at its spot in Seaham’s North Dock marina, serving up fresh fish and shellfish sourced from around the North East.
It has been set up by chef Chris Mitchell, 37, and his wife Caroline, 42, who takes care of front of house, while their friend Kevin Dobson, 38, pitches in as sous chef.
They work out of a triple horsebox, converted by Chris and kitted out with a charcoal grill and fryer, with Chris spending his weekdays in a civil servant role and Caroline in retail.
They say their daughter Hollie, four, is at the heart of their desire to make their weekend business a success.
Now in its fourth year, the ever-changing menu makes the most of local ingredients, with dishes including a half a lobster and chips, sea bass fillet and smoked kippers.
It also has a choice of tacos, recently including soft-shell crab, king prawns or queen scallops.
Sunderland lad Chris, who trained as a chef after leaving Southmoor Academy and now lives with his family in Seaham, said customers say they want to keep it a secret so they can guarantee their own dinner.
The shack serves until its sold out and is open from April to September, with the team putting together a host of measures to keep people safe following the coronavirus outbreak.
Chris said: “It’s something really different, we’re on the North East coast, we’ve got some of the best seafood in the world and people are starting to come back out after the lockdown and we’re just trying to keep a local tradition going.
"It’s brought something new to Seaham, we use local suppliers.
"We started scouting around for a location and came down to Seaham marina on a couple of weekends and we loved it.
"It’s got incredible views, especially if the weather is good, it feels like you could be in the south of France.
"We need to say a big thank you to our amazing customers, some who have been visiting us since we opened, it’s all down to them.”