WITH lobster thermidore on the menu, people might assume things must be ship-shape at The Spy Glass Inn.
But after nine complaints to the council about its nautical-themed frontage, the newly-renovated pub at the bottom of South Street, Worthing, is being forced to apply for retrospective planning permission.
Owner Kevin Jenkins said he had “no idea” the quirky maritime-theme would attract so much criticism, and said he could not help but “take to heart” the news he will have to apply to keep it.
Kevin, 49, who also owns businesses in Littlehampton, reopened what was Gio’s bar on December 16, after a six-week renovation project.
He said: “Obviously, I’m taking it to heart because it’s part of our design, but I understand people are entitled to their opinion.
“There are people who like it though, and have said they enjoy the Cornish nautical theme.
“What is positive is that since taking it over we are taking three times as much as the place has done for 10/15 years.”
The Herald has also received several complaints about the turquoise frontage, barrels, sail boat and ship’s mate climbing a rope on the outside of the building, which one letter writer described as “tacky”.
Ian Hunt, of Pavilion Road, Worthing, agreed, and said: “At best, it resembles a cheap and tacky English-themed beachside bar.
“At worst, the frontage reminds me of old stock sold off and put to some use from a double glazing and conservatory company held in receivership.”
Although he did add: “However, the beer was OK and in these difficult economic times if someone can make a living from a business looking like that, I say, jolly good luck to them.”
But mikeandannie, who commented on the Herald website, were wholly more positive: “How much better does it look than a closed pub restaurant as so many public houses are closing here are people who have put money and time into a building to improve it.
“I personally think we should all be grateful that someone wants to spend time and money back into our community.”
Wendy Knight from the council confirmed Mr Jenkins had been told to seek retrospective planning permission, although said an application was yet to be received.
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