Rumours over Rockfish Sidmouth put to bed

Rockfish has confirmed plans to open a restaurant in Sidmouth have been delayed – work is set to begin in 2022.

The fish chain was hit by rumors on social media that their proposal for a Sidmouth restaurant had been turned down after Rockfish withdrew their request.

However, owner Mitch Tonks has now assured that the rumor is not true and instead the opening has been delayed due to a “legal issue” and “background to the pandemic”.

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East Devon County Council has stated that it is also currently resolving a “minor legal matter” with previous owners of the site.

Rockfish Owner Mitch Tonks said, “Rockfish still plans to acquire the Drill Hall in Sidmouth for a Rockfish location.

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“The rumor we spread is not true and it’s just a rumor.

“The opening was understandably delayed due to a legal issue and against the background of the pandemic.”

A statement from the East Devon County Council said: “The council can confirm that Rockfish is still very much involved in this project and has live planning permission for the renovation of the former drill hall on Sidmouth Esplanade.

“Rockfish intends to start work in 2022.

“The local council is currently clearing a minor legal matter with the previous owners of the property and once that is done an option for a rental agreement between Rockfish and the local council can be made.”

Plans to build a Rockfish restaurant in Sidmouth were announced back in January 2020, with the chain looking to remodel the historic Drill Hall site at the end of Sidmouth’s seafront

The restaurant will operate on the same recipe for success as the other Rockfish restaurants in Dartmouth, Plymouth, Torquay, Exmouth, Plymouth, Weymouth and Exeter and the investment in the Sidmouth project will add over 1M to 40 local jobs.

The East Devon County Council Cabinet unanimously decided in 2019 to select Rockfish’s offer as the preferred offer for the redevelopment and renewal of Drill Hall.

And council planners are advised to give planning permission to convert the building into a restaurant at their meeting on Tuesday, February 4th.

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