Seaside restaurant pays tribute to customers as it celebrates 25 years
- Credit: Charlotte Bond
A popular seaside restaurant is celebrating 25 years within the community.
The Lighthouse Restaurant in Aldeburgh first opened its doors in the town's high street in 1995.
Current owner Sam Hayes started off as the restaurant's manager back when it opened under original owners Sara Fox and Peter Hill.
Mr Hayes was away from the business for a number of years before returning and eventually taking over the establishment in 2015 with his wife Maxine.
In his time with the Lighthouse, Mr Hayes has seen a lot change in the town.
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"Old independents have been replaced by national chains," said Mr Hayes.
Despite the changes outside, some things inside the restaurant had not changed too much during the restaurant's life.
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"We have always been about seasonality," said Mr Hayes.
"Like having fresh fish from Lowestoft or from the beach."
Mr Hayes said that he attributed much of the restaurant's longevity to being able to offer different things to customers.
"You can go big or have a few courses," said Mr Hayes.
"The key is to give a big diversity for people's pockets."
Aside from Mr Hayes himself there have also been other long-standing members of staff who help to bring a sense of consistence to the restaurant.
"Chef Guy Walsh has been here since close to the inception. Linda Fisher, who works at the front of house has been here since six days after the opening," said Mr Hayes.
"We feel very proud to that we have a business that we helped to set up and now we can continue."
Will the restaurant still be in Aldeburgh in 25 years' time, however?
"I say yes and the wife says no," said Mr Hayes.
"It's a lifestyle working in this industry."
Mr Hayes said that should the time come to move on that he would look to hand over the restaurant to someone just as passionate about it as he is.
For now, Mr Hayes has just one thing to say to those customers from far and wide who have visited the Lighthouse Restaurant over the years.
"It's a massive thank you for their support and for looking out for us," said Mr Hayes.
"We sharpen our pencils and keep going forwards."