The new venture – to be called Saltwater Fish Co – is part of Fenwick’s multi-million pound redevelopment of the Newcastle store’s Food Hall.
For Fenwick this sees the welcome return of a retail fish outlet within the Food Hall; for Terry Laybourne the move reflects a return to his roots with fish and seafood, which is where he built his reputation on returning to Newcastle in the early 1980s.
Saltwater will offer fast, casual seafood dining. Developed with London-based design consultancy CADA Design, there will be counter seating for 23, an open kitchen, creative chefs and knowledgeable service staff.
The restaurant and retail operation will create eight new jobs and recruitment is underway to find fishmongers and chefs de partie prior to opening in early October.
Fish will be cooked from the counter ensuring a lively, dynamic environment throughout the day. Diners will have the opportunity to see and discuss how seafood is prepared and cooked.
Menu choices might include freshly prepared fish, oysters from different beds, French-style fruits de mer platters, salt and pepper squid, seafood cocktail, crab sandwiches and salads. The menu will reflect the ‘in season’ produce fresh from day boats working the North East coast. A fish focussed wine list will accompany the menu.
Terry Laybourne explained: “Our chefs will work hand in hand with the fishmonger, taking a ‘we cook what we sell, we sell what we cook’ approach. Fish is seasonal so both our fishmonger and menu will be constantly on the move, reflecting the rhythm of the season.
“Due to our network of suppliers and producers that’s been developed over many years we will only select the best of seasonal seafood and go wherever it takes to find the best. Our fishmongers will ensure we consistently offer the finest, highest quality seafood that comes from the fabulous larder off the North East coastline as well as other ports around the UK.”
Fish will be lightly treated, grilled or steamed, to showcase their natural flavours. Terry said: “Fish cookery is all about the product, precision and restraint; fish really needs a light touch in order to show it at its best. People often get this wrong at home but we hope our experienced team will be able to demonstrate how to get the most out of great seafood.”
Saltwater will be open seven days a week, 11am-7pm. There will be a daily Oyster Happy Hour from 5pm – 6pm offering favourably priced oysters and fizz.
Job details and information can be found by visiting http://www.21hospitality.co.uk/careers/
Terry has acted as a consultant to Fenwick helping advise on the overall Food Hall redevelopment.