HUNDREDS of people have shown their support for a beachside restaurant and bar by calling on the council to keep it open. 

A planning application was lodged by SOBO Beach, along Southbourne promenade, asking BCP Council if it could stay open until 2027. 

Around 200 people have now come together demanding the popular venue which opened in the summer of 2022 remains in place. 

A look at Bournemouth’s planning portal shows the wave of support it has had: one resident described SOBO Beach as “the best thing on the beach” while another said it’s “the vibe is right for the area”. 

Bournemouth Echo:

Bournemouth Echo: VW Beetle on top of the Wok ShackVW Beetle on top of the Wok Shack (Image: SOBO Beach)

Bournemouth resident Sean Cash said: “They have worked very hard to improve the site and are a great asset to the BCP area.  

“Please let them stay until 2027 as it’s important people have facilities on our amazing beach.” 

Caroline Bean added: “Fully in support of Bistro on the Beach. It’s a great welcoming environment fulfilling the need of the area.” 

Read more: Meet the SOBO Beach mural artist Kizzi Bennett

Meanwhile, Rory Lawrence said: “Prior to it being there my friends and I rarely visited this part of the beach, and now we go more often than any other part of the beach.” 

There have also been a handful of people who objected, some on the grounds of noise. 

Owner Rich Slater, whose portfolio also boasts Beach House in Mudeford and The Boathouse in Christchurch, was quick to reassure those concerned about noise with a “significant investment” planned. 

Bournemouth Echo: Visitors at the venueVisitors at the venue (Image: SOBO Beach)

He said: “We will be reaching out to the objectors in due course to give them the opportunity to work with us to help resolve any issues they have. 

“It's unfortunate that they didn't come to us directly at any point to tell us that they were experiencing problems, but we're here for the whole community. 

“It's my sincere hope that they are prepared to open a dialogue so we can help, communities are at their strongest when they come together.  

“We already have plans ahead of the summer season to increase our sound mitigation, working with a number of specialist companies, which will hopefully reassure the affected residents.” 

Pitched as a venue offering the “chilled, international vibes of Miami’s South Beach”, SOBO Beach has been a popular hotspot for residents and tourists. 

Rich added: “It is great to see how the Southbourne Mile has evolved over recent years, with great businesses opening in the Grove and at the crossroads, that have all led to a vibrant and bustling local economy.  

“We see ourselves as just a part of this, an extension of that SOBO community that stretches to the shore.” 

The application will be decided by BCP Council in due course.