First look at new theatre cafe bar (including plan for an outdoor dining area)

A new cafe bar is planned for the Dome Studio Theatre <i>(Image: Studio C102)</i>
A new cafe bar is planned for the Dome Studio Theatre (Image: Studio C102)

Plans for an outdoor dining area at a historic Brighton venue are due to go before councillors next week.

A new cafe bar is planned for the Dome Studio Theatre – formerly the Pavilion Theatre – in New Road, Brighton, with seating for 118 customers outside.

Brighton and Hove City Council’s planning committee is expected to decide whether to approve the proposal at a meeting next week.

The plans include two “butterfly” awnings, guillotine windows, “wrap-around” planters and glazed screens to the west and south of the theatre.

Officials have recommended that councillors grant full planning permission for the outside seating and listed building consent.

The Argus:
The Argus:

The al fresco dining area is in the pipeline at the end of five years of work on the neighbouring Grade I listed Corn Exchange and the Grade II listed Studio Theatre.

The restoration was hampered by a key contractor going bust, the coronavirus pandemic and the unearthing of a burial ground at the site.

Brighton company Lucky Bean, which operates Redroaster, in St James’s Street, has the contract to run the café bar.

When Lucky Bean applied for a drinks licence for the venue in December, director Michael Palmer, 51, said that there would be no traditional bar.


Customers would be required to sit at a table and order food and drink from waiting staff, he said.

The company was investing in a large kitchen and a “design-led” environment, he said, where the inside and outside areas would feel like a restaurant.

According to the planning application: “The proposed awning will support the operation of the restaurant and its contribution to the local area.

“The amenity of surrounding users will be protected and enhanced by the successful operation of the restaurant. The proposal will enhance the conservation area and protect the listed building.”

The Argus: Plans are set to go before councillors
The Argus: Plans are set to go before councillors

Plans are set to go before councillors (Image: Studio C102)

There are no objections to the application.

Sussex Police asked that “reasonable” trading hours were included in the application. The venue’s alcohol licence allows for sales until midnight.

The Dome Studio Theatre dates from 1935 when it was built as a supper room for the Corn Exchange.

The planning committee is due to meet at Hove Town Hall at 2pm on Wednesday.

The meeting is scheduled to be webcast on the council’s website.