Owner of Bognor’s Beach Restaurant promises to ‘come back stronger from the ashes’

Seafront fire, picture: Eddie Mitchell
Seafront fire, picture: Eddie Mitchell

“I want to come back stronger from the ashes” - that is the promise and the plan stated by Beach Restaurant owner Yilmaz Vural.

The seafront business and the former Mud Club, above, have been demolished following a major fire on Sunday.

Mr Vural said: “Of course I worry about my future, but my building, my business, has affected people’s homes and I feel terrible.

“Our biggest satisfaction is that there were no injuries.”

Mr Vural, who has been at the site for ‘some 20 years’, reported his landlord is supportive of the restaurant’s return.

He said: “I want to come back stronger from the ashes. I can’t wait for the building to go up, so we can still offer the best fish and chips around.

“My landlord is offering to put in a roof, just something temporary, but first we need to work out what happened and how it happened.”

Mr Vural added that the ‘rough idea’ is to be back up and running within 12 months and his hope is to provide a ‘refreshed’ offering.

Motivation, he stated, is being drawn from the outpouring of support the business has seen since news of the blaze broke.

“There are so many emotions, I can’t even look people in the eyes for the risk of crying - I prefer to look down, it is too much.

“It is a huge thing,” he said. “I appreciate all of the comments on social media - I feel better than before.

“The people are motiviating us. People want something commercial, they don’t want flats.

“It is the best spot in Bognor and they want somewhere they can go to make memories,” he added.

“There are so many stories people have about this building, people who have married have met here.

“I promise I will do everything to get back in there, I will fight for it.”

Councillor Paul Wells deemed it ‘a sad day for the town’.

Mr Wells also echoed Mr Vural’s feelings and added: “Everyone has a link with that building.

“It will be interesting to see what comes next - I hope whatever it is can get up and running as soon as possible.”

Richard Brooks, of Brooks Brothers Development, which is said to own the premises, was contacted for a comment but at the time of going to press hadn’t replied.

The fire saw 14 crews from across Sussex and Hampshire attend. Firefighters battled the blaze for approximately 24 hours in storm conditions.