Ambitious plans for Eyemouth restaurant

An illustration of what the new look Mackays seafood restaurant would look likfe from Eyemouth's seafront.
An illustration of what the new look Mackays seafood restaurant would look likfe from Eyemouth's seafront.

Mackay’s of Eyemouth has revealed major plans to expand its premises at the bantry overlooking Eyemouth Bay to include alfresco rooftop dining.

The ground-floor fish and chip takeaway and restaurant will increase from 40 covers to 120, upstairs the bar and seafood restaurant will seat 150, and on the second floor there will be alfresco drinking and dining, plus a micro-bar and music area.

A side view of the building from Eyemouth High Street.

A side view of the building from Eyemouth High Street.

Plans to develop the seafront contemporary building have been passed by Scottish Borders Council, and owner John Mackay has indicated that work should start in October 2018 with a view to completion in the summer of 2019.

“This is something that has been in the making for the past 15 years, and now it’s finally coming to fruition,” said John.

“We bought the building in 1999 and opened the take-away and restaurant in 2002, and from then we always knew what we were going to do at the back of the building.

“It’s been a long, well-thought-out plan to do this. It will upgrade the building to a very high level, especially with its location next to the beach.

How the new building will look.

How the new building will look.

“The bay changes every few minutes. Iit’s never the same.”

Architect John Paterson, whose contemporary design work for the Church of England in London is well known, has designed the Eyemouth harbour front building.

“His background was fishing, so if you look at the images, you will see that the side of the building juts out and looks like a wheelhouse,” said John.

“We have tried to bring in old Eyemouth and fishing as well as a new contemporary look.”

John’s links to Eyemouth’s past are strong and reflecting its history is important to him.

His grandfather was a whaler, and family members ran Burgon fish processors and the Home Arms for years.

“We are absolutely ecstatic to share this with all the people of Eyemouth and surrounding areas, our friends and customers, of course,” he said.

“There will be an internal glass lift between floors for everybody to use and access all areas, and the second floor rooftop will have a retractable sail roof for those lazy sunny days, as we don’t want you all to forget our location, with spectacular, iconic views overlooking the ever changing Bay-Hurkurs and Rodsteed.”

In recommending that the plans be approved, a planning officer said: “The proposed development would allow expansion of the existing business, attracting further footfall to the area, contributing to the vitality of the town, without, subject to conditions, having an adverse impact on visual or neighbouring amenities.

“It is considered that the design will contribute positively to the character and form of the settlement and will not detract from the character and amenity of the surrounding area or the character and appearance of the conservation area.”

There was an one objection from a neighbour, but in general when Mackay’s revealed its plans on its Facebook page last week, it received very positive comments including: “All the best, looking forward to finished bit, a big change for Eyemouth, long time coming, good luck.”

“Love the fact that you’re bringing something different to the area, creating new jobs and somewhere for families and friends to go to! Brilliant.”

“So many more customers will be able to enjoy that amazing view!”