FALMOUTH’S historic former Custom House has been transformed into a new bar and restaurant which opens next week with staff preparing to be thrown in the deep end as the town prepares for its busiest weekend in years.

The Stable in Arwenack Street will be the seventh in a chain which stretches down from Bristol, but owner Richard Cooper said: “We feel it is probably going to be our best restaurant yet.”

The new business has created around 30 full and part time jobs in addition to the numerous local tradesmen who had have been involved with the conversion of the building since May. 

They have been working round the clock to ensure everything is ready for the official opening next Thursday, the first day of the Falmouth Tall Ships Regatta.

Mr Cooper has high hopes for his latest venture which has cost between £600,000 to £700,000 to complete. 

“We were looking here (Falmouth) because it’s such an important part of Cornwall,” he said. 

“We did look at another building, an old night club, but they didn’t want us in there, however they did us a favour turning us down.

“We heard a rumour this building was available. It has taken us a long time, around one-and-a-half years from when we first looked at it, to get to this point but we are there now. It was a much bigger job than we anticipated. It is a wonderful building and hopefully when people see it they will see we have done a wonderful job in preserving the building. 

“It has been quite a challenging build – it was not a simple restaurant fit-out, it was a restoration project which we were happy to do.”

The Stable is known for its pizza, pies and cider, of which there will be 60 varieties available in Falmouth, and has built up a reputation for its food. 

“We hope to add wealth to the environment,” said Mr Cooper. “Everything is made on site and prepared on site, from the dough to the sauce. We feel that offers not only better taste but a better experience in the sense that people are interested where their food comes from these days. Our motivation is to produce the best tasting pizzas there are.” 

The new venture will not be catering for stag or hen parties and will close at midnight. 

The ground floor is a warehouse style bar which opens out onto Custom House Quay while the first floor is the main restaurant, with a smaller room for private parties, and outdoor seating fronting onto Arwenack Street.

“We will be opening all year round, seven days a week. One of the reasons we are in Falmouth is we understand the value of local business and local customers with the tourists adding the icing on the cake. We are here for 20 years, minimum,” added Mr Cooper.