Keeping it in the family
Laura Cartledge meets the brothers and business partners serving up something different in Worthing.
Brought up in a house with seven sons, food has always been of high importance for the Taylors.
So it seems to make sense when brothers Tim and Matt went into business together that family would be an influence.
“We had pubs in Brighton for around 13 years,” explains Matt, “and when families came along about eight years ago I moved out to Worthing so I was commuting.
“We were looking for something to open and we could see all the people getting off the train from London and we thought they needed somewhere to go.”
However he admits back then ‘whenever we had a babysitter we would get on the train and go back to Brighton’.
“Now Worthing reminds me of Hove in the 80s, in a good way,” he enthuses. “The demographic is changing.”
So with this change in mind the family opened the Beach House, in Marine Parade.
“What we have done has been well received,” shares Matt. “A lot of it was timing – the seafront has come alive. I remember when my girls were little everything was closed at 5pm.
“It was a risk because at that time there was nothing going on,” he adds. “When we signed for Beach House, The Wandering Goose man was just painting it.”
Even getting to that point was a battle admits Matt, as finding a pub proved impossible.
“We would make enquiries and it was like they didn’t want to keep them for that, the breweries were even after change of use,” he reveals. “A free house is hard to come across.”
Instead the duo found an opportunity in the shape of the former seafront American-style diner.
“We saw there was a possibility for putting a cellar in and making somewhere that was kid friendly, dog friendly and people friendly,” smiles Matt, who adds that the town’s lantern parade and firework show then gave him the confidence it would work.
“Tide of Light made you believe that people are there if you put something on for them.”
So the brothers set about making Beach House a destination.
“It is about the little details and freshly prepared food, all the pubs we have had have had a big food influence,” he explains.
“You have got to do more than open a door, people expect more for their money now – it is a treat. You have to give them a nice environment and good service.
“You have to give a point of difference and you shouldn’t pigeonhole yourself to be a sports bar or a 20-somethings bar.”
At Beach House a big draw has been its ‘famous burgers’ where the quest for perfection even saw them work with a baker to develop the perfect bun.
“It is a Jewish recipe and holds its shape better,” enthuses Matt. “You always have to be working on what you are doing and trying to get the best results.”
This ethos is also echoed in their new venture – The Corner House, in St Dunstan’s Road, Worthing, which had only opened three weeks before my visit.
“Getting a second place going was always the plan,” says Matt. “I would cycle past it on my way home and the more I looked at it the more I thought it was a beautiful building – classic design, high ceilings and big windows.”
But it was not just the building that sold it.
“It was the outside space,” Matt confesses, “it is bigger than the pub and no one knew it was here.”
The building itself needed a great deal of work done to it.
“We had to do everything – new floors, new electrics, new boiler, putting the trade kitchen in and renovating the apartment above,” Matt lists, describing it as a ‘long term investment’.
“We are here with our families, we are not going anywhere,” he says. “Worthing is home and we want to watch our children grow up here.”
As well as utilising the outside area, focus has also been indoors and on that all important food – something which has seen the former chef at Stamner House in Brighton take on the apron reins.
“He’s the most mild mannered chef I’ve ever met,” reveals Matt. “He does everything from scratch, he makes his own ice-cream and stock and bread, even the biscuits for his cheese boards.”
The work is paying off as the Corner House already has a reputation for its Sunday roasts and the aim is to keep the standard high.
However whether it is the menus, the setting or the selection of Sussex ales, the motivation for the Taylors is wonderfully simple.
“It sounds cheesy but the challenge is to send people out with a smile on their face,” Matt whispers.
“It is very rewarding to send them away happy. When there is a good buzz and everyone is having a nice time there is nothing better.”
So does that mean a third business might be on the cards in the future?
“Never say never,” he grins.
For more information, visit www.beachhouseworthing.co.uk or search Beach House Worthing and The Corner House Worthing on Facebook.