A TOURISM boss is hoping his new continental bar in Clacton will give off the vibe of a European getaway as he reassures seasiders, “we are still moving forward.”

Work on the newly opened Playas, at Clacton Pavilion, got underway back in February, with the aim of the project being wrapped up in time for the Easter holidays.

But, following the coronavirus outbreak and subsequent lockdown, proceedings temporarily came to a halt and, although now open, the bar is not quite complete.


  • The bar is designed to be a relaxed space

Nonetheless, the relaxed space, positioned next to Armstrong’s and the Family Fun Park, is already brimming with promising potential and big things are planned.

The outdoor seating area, for example, will eventually be divided up into individual pods, and the aim is the bar will be able to be enjoyed all year round.


  • Cocktails are most certainly on the menu

The menu, on the other hand, consists of more gourmet – but still affordable - food and drink items, such as luxury burgers, German hotdogs, and a range of cocktails.

Catering manager, Graham Sharp, who has worked in the hospitality sector for 38 years, is tasked with overseeing the running of Playas.

He says the bar will offer al fresco style dining and aim to be as accommodating as possible for customers, something he experienced while working in Portugal.

“It is going to be table service, and you won’t get service like this anywhere else, because we want out customers to relax when they come here,” he said.

“There is no limits to what we can do here, and where possible, for private parties, for example, we want to offer a tailored and bespoke experience.

“As soon as people walk in here, we encourage them to take a seat, and it is going to be a more relaxed atmosphere than anywhere else in the town.

“During the winter, we can have heating units outside, like they have in cafes and bars abroad, so people can still come here, despite the weather.

“We are trying to make it more European and continental, so people will come here from good cocktails, like jugs of Sangria, and we may have live music and shows as well.”

Despite the lockdown’s unfortunate timing, Pavilion boss, Billy Peak, says the Playas project was never going to be abandoned, and family members have made it possible.


  • Pavilion boss Billy Peak (left)

He believes their persistence shows the town that the Pavilion, which will be taking part in the Government’s Eat Out To Help scheme, remains a tourism force.

“Here we are coming out lockdown, through uncertain times, and yet we are still moving forward and opening a new bar,” he said.

“You have to be positive and our philosophy when lockdown came was when we were allowed to reopen, we had to open up as we closed down, but even better.

“Playas will be able to operate separately from the rest of the area, and we want it to have its own identity.”