This week brothers Danny and Larry Watson signed a lease agreement with the owner of the former paddle steamer Compton Castle to open a café on board the vessel moored at Truro’s Lemon Quay,
The deal which we negotiated will see the city’s iconic venue, which has been empty since 2010, up and running again, this time as a nautical themed eatery by the end of October.
Sarah, Larry’s partner was shopping on the Piazza last February when she spotted the for sale sign on the boat.
She knew Danny was looking for a way to launch well known French coffee brand ‘Cafes Richard’ in the UK and thought a café on the boat would be an ideal opportunity.
This week the family, who’ll be running the enterprise together, are busy planning an interior and exterior design which will work for a busy café in such an unusual premises.
Danny Watson says: “Unlike businesses which’ve been here before such as the previous café and florist, our design ideas will stay true to Compton Castle’s nautical history.
Right now, as well as the main cafe we have lots of ideas for the space such as a separate captain’s table on the stern, converting below deck into bed and breakfast rooms and providing a fast food facility on deck.”
The first priority though is to get the core café business up and running and in order to do that our challenge will be to make the public more aware of the boat which because of the tides is partially visible from the piazza for part of the day.
We’re confident we can re-establish Compton Castle as a valuable and unique eating experience for Truro.
Our Sales Co-ordinator Tina Laity says “There was a lot of initial interest in the boat. We had people considering opening a jewellers’, an art gallery and even a champagne bar on the boat.
Danny and Larry have the opportunity to run a business (albeit it an unusual one) in Truro’s primary shopping location.
With Marks and Spencer’s, Debenhams and Primark about to open on the piazza they will have plenty of potential customers to tempt on board.
We wish them every success in their new venture