Exclusive behind-the-scenes look at Mikeys Beach Bar
- Credit: Marc Astley
“Look at that spectacular view. There’s nowhere else I’d rather be right now.”
Michael Caines MBE is clearly buzzing with excitement at the mouth-watering prospect of finally opening his new Exmouth beach restaurants and cafe.
After months of delays caused by the Covid pandemic, the celebrity chef is counting down the days until May 17 when he can finally welcome guests through the doors.
Michael has poured his heart and soul into funding, designing and overseeing the building of Mickeys Beach Bar & Restaurant and Café Patisserie Glacerie at the new Sideshore.
And he gave the Journal an exclusive sneak peek.
“It’s been a tough old journey but we’re almost there and I can’t wait,” he said.
“As an entrepreneur, restaurateur and chef, this has been the perfect project.
“Our ethos is going to be that life’s a party and that Mickeys is a fun place to be. It’s not a pub or a nightclub, it’s a restaurant and bar.
“The space is sophisticated and elegant but also informal and casual. We want to create a great destination experience.”
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Michael said he based the concept for the restaurant on his apres ski and beach bar holiday experiences in France and Spain.
He added: “Most of us will have come back from holiday at some point and asked ‘why we can’t find anywhere that provides that kind of atmosphere and ambience’. That’s what I believe we will achieve.”
The dog-friendly floor-level beach bar will offer handmade pizzas served from the on-site Italian-made oven, burgers, hotdogs and fish and chips.
In the upstairs restaurant there will be locally-sourced meat and fish fresh from the kitchen’s barbeque grill and a range of dishes created by Michael and his team.
The steaks will come with a range of styles including Mickeys, Argentinian, Texan, Mediterranean and Asian.
Michael said the emphasis would be on sustainable, high quality, seasonal dishes.
There are two terraces, one featuring a high-tech retractable glass canopy which slides open or shut at the touch of a button allowing it to be used all year round.
Michael added: “We’ve also made sure the furniture is stylish but robust as we know people will come in straight from the beach.
“The tables can be easily moved around to cater for large groups or much smaller bookings. It’s about sharing, about having fun, about great food and about creating happy memories for our guests.”
Michael is committed to banning the use of single-use plastics and will harness renewable energy where possible alongside sustainable materials.
For example, sparkling and still water will be delivered straight from the tap and served in a carafe to reduce bottle glass waste.
The eaterie has a distinct holiday theme with nods towards more exotic coastal locations.
Adjacent to Mickeys Beach Bar and Restaurant will be Café Patisserie Glacerie, a new franchise venture run jointly by Michael and his former colleague and pastry chef Sylvain Peltier.
It will serve French patisseries, coffee supplied by Olfactory Coffee Roasters in Penryn, Cornwall, gelato ice cream made with Devon cream and milk and milkshakes.
There will also be ‘grab and go’ food including Devon pies made by Tom’s Pies, which are made in Newton Abbot and Cornish pasties from Malcom Barnecutt in Bodmin.
Up to 80 staff will be employed in total across the venues during the busiest periods with eight chefs running the kitchen.
The total capacity for diners will be 150 unless social distancing rules apply.
Patisserie chef Sylvain, who spent 10 years working as head pastry chef with Michael Caines at Michelin-starred restaurant Gidleigh Park, said: “I am proud and excited to be opening with Michael our first Café Patisserie Glacerie on the beautiful Exmouth seafront.
“This has been a dream of ours for the past 15 years and seeing the project come together is mind blowing.”