THE new £1.5 million Rockfish seafood restaurant is scheduled to open on Poole Quay early next year.

It was originally thought the business would open in 2019, but the restaurant group – founded and run by acclaimed seafood chef Mitch Tonks – confirmed the eatery will now open on February 1.

Mitch also released a short video showing how progress is being made at the new building, the former Purbeck Pottery site.

He said: "We've already had an amazing welcome when we announced we were opening down here in Poole.

"It is such a friendly place and we are really looking forward to being part of the community here.

"We look forward to welcoming you to this magnificent premises.

"This is going to be another fabulous member of the Rockfish family."

The building interior has been opened up completely, and it will eventually boast an open kitchen, reclaimed timber features, seating in the windows and even a log fire.

There will also be a bar and a private dining area.

When completed Rockfish Poole should create around 40 new jobs.

No major changes to the facade are proposed as it is situated in Poole's Town Centre Conservation Area.

The Rockfish group, which has seven other restaurants in Weymouth, 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.

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