THE owner of an independent Southsea cafe says he is delighted to be expanding and opening a new venue at Gunwharf Quays.
Mark Hogan, who opened The Parade Tea Rooms, in Western Parade, Southsea, four years ago is busy transforming the former police station at Gunwharf Quay’s Grade II listed Vernon Gate into a welcoming cafe.
Mark said: ‘We opened the first site in Southsea in 2015 and have quickly established ourselves in the community, offering customers delicious food and drink in beautiful surroundings.
‘Opening at Gunwharf Quays will see us open next to the best known brands, in a beautifully refurbished building. We can’t wait to welcome new customers to our newest location.’
The new cafe will feature an outdoor terrace with 20 seats, as well as 28 seats inside, providing the perfect place to enjoy breakfasts, lunches or homemade cakes.
The cafe will create 12 jobs - and Grace Pitchers, who has worked at the Southsea venue since it opened, will be taking over as manager.
Mark, 34, from Old Portsmouth, said: ‘It has been an unbelievable few years and we have built such a good reputation with our customers, who love what we do, and we love doing it.
‘For us, it is all about people coming in to enjoy themselves. I have got some great staff who work hard and it is the right time for us to open another cafe and take on a new challenge.’
Colin Wilding, general manager at Gunwharf Quays, said: ‘The Parade Tea Rooms is well established in the local community and we are thrilled to welcome it to Gunwharf Quays.
‘The historical significance of the site makes the location of the tea rooms unique. With a rich naval heritage, going back to the 1500s, the new Parade Tea Rooms are in the former gatehouse building of the HMS Vernon site which was integral in D-Day preparations, training all mine divers.’
The menu will include buttermilk pancakes served with streaky bacon and maple syrup, eggs royale and traditional full English breakfasts.
Light lunches include a range of toasties, jacket potatoes, fresh salads and homemade soups.
Afternoon tea will be available daily, serving sandwiches, cakes and scones, served with Hampshire clotted cream and jam.
Famous for its homemade cakes, a selection of more than 30 cakes made with locally sourced produce will also be on offer.
Mark said he hopes the cafe will open at the start of May, and he is on the look out for staff.
It will be open from 9am to 5pm, seven days a week.