A SEAFOOD restaurant will be opening on Poole Quay in October following the closure of well-known family business Purbeck Pottery.

It will be one of two Rockfish restaurants coming to Dorset this year, with the company also opening a site in Weymouth in July, at the former Dorothy Inn on the seafront.

The restaurant group, founded and run by acclaimed seafood chef Mitch Tonks, submitted proposals for a restaurant on the Purbeck Pottery site last year.

Proprietors Philip and Sheena Barnes retired earlier this year, and Rockfish has now begun work on its new restaurant, which will create around 40 jobs.

The building is being fully refurbished as part of a £1.5m investment.

The new restaurant will have 100 seats inside and a bar area.

No major changes to the façade are proposed as it is situated in the Town Centre Conservation Area.

The Rockfish group, which has six other restaurants in Plymouth, Exmouth, Dartmouth, Exeter, Torquay, and Brixham, specialises in “fresh, local and sustainable seafood”. Fish is selected each day at market and prepared by fishmongers before being delivered to each restaurant.

The restaurant on Poole Quay will serve traditional fish and chips, as well as a range of seafood, including whole seabass and prawns with garlic butter. Local seafood such as Portland pearl oysters will also feature on the menu.

"Our kitchens are set up so that we can offer the entire menu gluten free (so separate fryers etc) and as we are totally committed to sustainability – we have seafood that is locally caught from the South West fisheries – we’ll be including more local seafood alongside our MSC accredited fish. We’re looking forward to making contacts with local suppliers too," Rockfish said.

Mitch said: “I’ve always loved the area around the harbour and quayside in Poole, so it is really exciting to be bringing Rockfish to an area where they have great seafood and a brilliant restaurant scene."

All of Rockfish's restaurants are also “plastic free” and “palm oil free”.

The chain will be supporting this year’s Dorset Seafood Festival in Weymouth with a stand. Mr Tonks will also be doing a joint demo with friend and chef Mark Hix, a former Weymouth College student who is also a successful restaurateur.