Generating additional revenue without increasing floor area. Bar & restaurant design.

Blackpool Sands Café, restaurant and bar interior design & refurbishment in area of outstanding natural beauty

It was a delight for the gutxi team to design and fit out the new Blackpool Sands Café, restaurant and bar interior for the owners of Blackpool Sands beach, just outside Dartmouth Devon.  The scheme involved the design of a multi-functional entertainment venue, and interior design and fit out of a beach café, restaurant and bar interior, for day and night time dining options. The beach is in an area of outstanding natural beauty and a key challenge on this project was generating new and additional revenue, without increasing the floor area.

Set against rolling green South Hams Devon countryside, Blackpool Sands Café, restaurant and bar near Dartmouth is situated on a vibrant blue-flag beach. It is located along the South Devon Coast, midway between Salcombe and Torquay. As well as being a hive for water activities, such as stand up paddle boarding (SUP) and kayaking, it is surrounded by breath-taking natural scenery. It was voted the UK’s best beach by Conde Nast Traveller in 2024.

One of the striking things about this place, other than its natural beauty, is how well kept and clean it is. And credit for this goes to Geoffrey and Robert Newman and his team; Geoffrey is a committed marine conservationist whose family are custodians of the beach, and have been for many generations. Under his tenure the area and Blackpool Sands Café has been lovingly maintained and sensitively designed, to ensure that it remains a place where people can enjoy nature, learn and spend time relaxing.

Dining area inside Blackpool Sands Cafe new restaurant in Dartmouth South Devon featuring interior design and fit out by gutxi

New level of dining and leisure experience

Over recent years, facilities alongside the existing Blackpool Sands Café and restaurant have been introduced such as RED Paddle Co paddleboard hire, SUP inflation station and beach sauna. The Blackpool Sands Café and beach restaurant also hosts events throughout the year including; Apres Sea, Dartmouth Triathlon, Tunes on the Sands and Tribal Clash. These events, delivered in partnership with local suppliers, form an important part of the Dartmouth economy. This, in addition to the RED Paddle Co shop and Blackpool Sands Café for takeaways, helps Blackpool Sands beach retain its appeal to younger and older audiences alike.

This year the beach has entered a significant new milestone with the interior design and fit out of a new cafe, bar, and restaurant. This new facility is set to offer a whole new level of dining and leisure experience, for both daytime and evening customers. When the Newman family decided to develop the food and beverage offering, they entered into partnership with local boutique hotel and restaurant operators Charlie and Zuzana Deuchar (owners of Bayards Cove Inn and Bayards Kitchen). By working with these multi-award winning restaurateurs, the family was confident that the new offering would be something very special. However there were challenges ahead and these had to be overcome first.  

Restaurant and bar interior design remodelling, to create a multi-functional dining and leisure facility

The Blackpool Sands beach has been under the ownership of the Newman family for many generations and that brings with it, a high degree of responsibility. On one hand, the family is keen to invest and ensure that the Blackpool Sands Café facilities continue to be a success. Yet on the other hand, they want to ensure that investments go into projects that are viable and become sustainable, and lessen the burden for future custodians. In addition to this, as it is an area of outstanding natural beauty, it was decided that the Blackpool Sands Café and restaurant development should take place within the existing footprint and not encroach on the environment around it. From a financial perspective this made the business case more difficult to justify, as revenue could only be developed though higher amenity value rather than increased seating capacity. It was therefore imperative that the scheme provided the Blackpool Sands Café business with a new way to flourish. And this was achieved by clever restaurant interior design; by redesigning the café and restaurant space and creating a multi-functional dining and leisure facility, which could accommodate new types of event, day and night. The scheme was designed and built by the gutxi team.

The bar inside Blackpool Sands Cafe new restaurant and bar in Dartmouth South Devon with interior design and fit out by gutxi

“A masterclass in coastal chic” – Dartmouth Chronicle

Using a local café, bar and restaurant interior designer and fit out contractor like gutxi was a natural choice for Blackpool Sands Café, who felt that it was important to use local suppliers. As John Gaughan of gutxi explained “When you are designing restaurant interiors and fitting out cafés, bars and eateries, it is imperative that the project is executed with precision and delivered at pace. And therefore finding the right supplier is crucial. However when you use one that is local, then it becomes a win-win for the customer and community. The service is more cost effective and responsive. Furthermore you are involving people that are fully invested in the project, as they are part of the community. And you are investing not just in the site but in the local economy as well, and that is so important for communities like ours. And on top of that, it is better for the staff involved and the environment. The aim of the Blackpool Sands Café project was to design and fit out a high-quality restaurant, beach café, bar and entertainment venue within the community. It is as much for the local Dartmouth community, as it is for visitors from outside of the area. It was therefore fitting that the project should place such a strong emphasis on working with local service providers.”  And it has gone down well, with the Dartmouth Chronicle describing it as “a masterclass in coastal chic” and an “ultimate Devon beachside dining experience” by DevonLive.

Inside the Blackpool Sands Cafe new restaurant and bar in Dartmouth South Devon, with interior design and fit out by gutxi

New and exciting chapter

The Newman family has a long tradition of preserving and sympathetically enhancing the Blackpool Sands beach, since acquiring it in 1796. The major milestones since then have included; the development of a Blackpool Sands plantsman’s garden in 1896, the requisition of Blackpool Sands beach by the US marines in World War 2 which led to it being opened up to the public, the establishment of a Blackpool Sands Café with a wooden hut selling teas and ice creams in the late 1950’s, the Blackpool Sands Gardens restoration in 2000, and now a new phase. With a new range of leisure and entertainment experiences, including the hosting of weddings and music events, Blackpool Sands Café is now entering a new and exciting chapter.

Interested to learn more? If you’re interested in learning more about how a refurbishment can improve your business,  get in touch. We’ll help you visualise your ideal space and make sure every element meets your needs so that you can create something truly magical for diners. With our expertise and knowledge, we look forward to helping you turn one of your greatest business dreams into reality. Get in touch