Latimer's launches new takeaway hatch for seafood picnic boxes on the beach

A new takeaway hatch offering crab and lobster boxes to take on the beach is set to be a real catch for seafood lovers.

Tuesday, 13th July 2021, 4:08 pm

Award-winning Latimer’s Deli on Whitburn Bents Road has been serving up the North Sea’s finest seafood since 2002, now they’re set to reel in even more customers with a takeaway hatch.

Despite an incredibly challenging 16 months for the hospitality sector, the family-run business has had one of its busiest years yet, since it reopened last June following the first Lockdown, selling two tonnes of dressed crab a week.

With demand for their shop growing they needed more prep space, so have converted the former cafe area which couldn’t operate its regular number of tables due to social distancing.

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Latimer's have launched a takeaway hatch

The conversion has also given them the chance to utilise an old night service hatch from the unit’s time as a garage, to create a takeaway hatch serving seafood boxes, with everything you need for a picnic on the beach.

As well as crab and lobster boxes, available for one or two diners, people can also pick up bacon sandwiches for breakfast, seafood sandwiches, afternoon teas, cakes, coffees, homemade lemonade and freshly-squeezed orange juice.

Ailsa Latimer said: “The picnic boxes come with everything you need, including a wooden knife and fork, napkins, hand wipes, bread and butter and mayonnaise. They’re ideal for taking on to the beach, to the park or on to the path to Souter. We have such an amazing location here, and this really helps to make the most of it.

"We’ve always had the hatch but it was only really used for ventilation before. The size of the cafe meant it just wasn’t safe for our customers and staff, and we needed the extra prep space. People have loved what we’ve done with it. We’ve stuck to our USP, which is the best seafood in the North East and all the awards we have for it.”

Rachael Bridges at the new Latimer's Seafood takeaway cafe hatch.

Speaking about their loyal customer base, Ailsa said: "We’ve been so lucky and are so grateful for the support we’ve received, we’ve never been busier.

“There’s not been many wins with Lockdown, but people appreciating what’s on their doorstep is one of them.”

Latimer’s gets its seafood from day boats along the North East coast from Blyth and North Shields down to Bridlington. The day starts early, meeting the fishing crews at 3am to pick up their haul and begin the labour-intensive process of prepping the seafood.

The new developments at the site have meant the fishmongers has been able to take on a new apprentice, with other roles also opening up ahead of the busy summer season.

The hatch harks back to the site's time as a garage

It’s one in a number of new additions along the seafront, which in recent months has welcomed the Seaburn Inn and Stack. Further along the coast, Fausto has also launched a new evening offering for pizzas on the beach.

Ailsa said: “Local people have always known about what we have here, but all the new developments mean more people are coming from outside the area to appreciate the coast and it’s fantastic that they have so much choice.”

*Latimer’s shop and hatch is open Tuesday-Sunday 9am-5pm. The menu includes a range of options, with a bacon sandwich priced £3.95 and a crab sandwich priced £4.95. A crab box for two is £25 and a lobster box for two is £40.

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Latimer's Seafood owner Robert Latimer with fresh lobster, which is sustainably fished
One of the lobster boxes being made up
The Latimer's shop has had its busiest year yet
The deli has been serving up fresh fish since 2002
The deli sells two tonnes of dressed crab a week