Fish and chip restaurant with roof terrace plan for vacant unit in Ramsgate’s Royal Victoria Pavilion building

Royal Victoria Pavilion building (Image Visit Thanet)

A fish and chip restaurant with roof top terrace and a takeaway is proposed for the vacant section of the Royal Victoria Pavilion site on Ramsgate seafront.

Papas Hospitality Group aims to take over the shell to create a new outlet at the Grade II listed building alongside the Wetherspoon pub.

Planning documents from the Papas group say: “The intention is to complete the external treatment initiated by the Wetherspoon team in replacement of external doors and windows to match those in place in the building.

“There are three different levels within this part of the building. Both stepped and ramped approaches will be utilised to provide an safe and easy movement.

“The building has had a long history with its terrace used by the general public for viewing the sea, dining and general recreation. Part of this development plan is to create a new access onto the roof area to fully utilise the terrace space.”

Image MLJ Chartered Architects

Papas is a well-known fish and chips chain in the north of England and is seeking to develop in the south of the country.

This site is part of a national programme in delivering new units, a number of which are now open and trading successfully.

The façade of the property will remain unchanged except for the installation of new windows and doors to ‘complete the building’

Opening 2017

Wetherspoon opened its pub at the site in August 2017 after a £5million restoration project. It had formerly housed a casino and had been nightspots including Peggy Sue’s.

Prior to the Wetherspoon renovation the building had languished empty and neglected since 2008 when Rank Leisure casino moved to Westwood Cross. In 2011  serious damage was caused by a fire and the building was  listed on the Victorian Societies’ Building at Risk Register in 2013.

Planning permission for the pub was granted in 2016 and a lease deal with Thanet council came soon afterwards.

Renovation work included a new zinc roof installed on the large main roof, in keeping with the original building, and the reinstatement of the pavilion’s classic dormer oriel windows.

Crowds at the Royal Victoria Pavilion and Ramsgate Sands, Ramsgate, 1947 Historic England

The grade II listed building was carefully restored working to photographs and designs, keeping as close as possible to the original concept, designed by notable architect Stanley Davenport Adshead and originally completed in 1903.

The property was built as a concert hall and assembly rooms, on the site of an old stone yard.  It is said to have been built in six weeks.  The opening ceremony was performed by HRH Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll, on 29 June 1904.

She was greeted at the railway station by large crowds and given a golden key to open the grand Pavilion. It was named in memory of her mother, Queen Victoria, who had spent several summers in Ramsgate as a young princess, a name which continues in the name of the new pub.

The vacant part of the building has been marketed for lease by Savills since the pub opened and at one time an indoor market was suggested.

The Papas restaurant would be opposite the already established Pete’s Fish Factory site.

A decision is yet to be made on the Papas application which can be seen on the Thanet council planning portal, reference L/TH/22/1497


  1. Competition to the cheap food already served on the site.for that reason alone its not a bad thing, not great for the chippy over the road tho aye

    • Pity its directly under the flight path of incoming aircraft should Manston re-open! They will be just 300 meters high at that point, two an hour if the USA Hedge fund get their way!

  2. I was disappointed to read it is a Northern chain. The East Kent Pappas is excellent but they set up Fish and Chip Shops then Franchise them out. I bet the best Fish and Chips, Restaurant style will still be the Harbour Brasserie. For good chips, great batter and the whitest, sweetest fish you can’t beat it.

  3. I welcome any business that creates jobs, competition and options to the local area, like others have said, bit of a shame it’s a chain. Would be near impossible to live unchained now.

    I would support a local family run chippy over this and would do the same with my pub choice.

    I understand why people use the cheaper chains mind you.

  4. Ramsgate has far more to offer than Margate, the only Royal Harbour, a South facing beach, most of the best resteraunts, cafes and bars in the area, a train station which you can walk from to anywhere in Ramsgate in 15 minutes, parking in the multi storey and other car parks which are many, differering foods on offer, a Waitrose, Tesco, Asda and Wilkos to get stuff to take to the beach, numerous b+b’s and good hotels. The suburbs of Ramsgate as you follow the coast are quiet, picturesque and good to visit for a great drink with the biggest vistas. Ramsgate is the place to be for all people whether families, trendies, older generation, the greatest.

    • Oh lordy.. Margate.. Beach out of station minutes away as in 5 or less. Margate has great food, shops. Old town being turned into flats. Ramsgate.. Beach flats. Its about the same as.. A good dumping ground for dodgy art.. Or offshore leaks

    • Yes indeed, well said.
      Just adding the new restaurant venue will employ staff and pay business and other tax.
      If only every business was similar.

  5. Phyllida, you might not agree with some comments on here however real world has just as much right to give their opinion as you do. Woke-ness and censorship equals suppression. Any business that creates employment is good business. Papas of the North do excellent fish and chips as do many other local fish and chip shops.

    • Logically,then, I have as much right to give my opinion as anyone else does.

      I do not think that “any business that creates employment is good business”.

    • Wokeness.

      Have a day off bill.

      I’m sick and tired of old men that can’t understand simple things labelling anything they don’t like as “woke”

      Put down your daily Mail and enjoy the last few years left in happiness not angry that the world is a nicer place to live.

      Which it is. I say this as a middle aged man.

    • “Woke-ness and censorship equals suppression.”

      Given being woke means standing up and being alert to racism and injustice, we can just assume you’re a fan of those things and benefit from their inherently biased power structures.

  6. Maybe the fish can be imported, and parachuted from the planes that use Manston. What do you think of that idea Jenny Dawes. No extra pollution or vehicle congestion. 🤣🤣🤣🤣

      • Phy Roberts.
        It appears we have a puritanical self appointed editor on this excellent news outlet who doesn’t say much about the subject matter preferring instead to make her puritanical comments on other’s contributions. DFL I wonder?

      • Taking Paul’s suggestion seriously, one can see a few flaws. For example, there would be no need to parachute in fish which were going to be landed at Manston anyway; fish that could have been landed just a few yards away at the jetty.
        An absurd comment indeed.
        On the other hand, if Paul’s idea is bonkers, what does that say about Ann’s judgement?

  7. Just what the town needs.More takeaway litter thrown all over the town and not picked up by our local council.I think Ramsgate wants to become the dirtiest seaside town in UK.

    • “More takeaway litter thrown all over the town and not picked up by our local council.”

      Funny, because RTC are regular as clockwork with their litter picking.

  8. I agree about the litter.Make every new takeaway business pay for a new litter bin to at least try to minimise the rubbish as it lies in the weed ridden,unswept,grafittied area called the Main Sands.

  9. It does seem odd though. Another F&C outlet, like Ramsgate doesn’t have enough! Three F&C places within a couple of minutes walk from the Weatherspoons (who also do F&C) as does the Brasserie so really five places within 1/4 mile of the intended site. Then Shakey, Delicious, Friends and Ramsgate F&C.
    A real shame a different shop isn’t possible, I assume TDC’s concept for a Brett’s concrete block and ready made sandcastle outlet wasn’t a goer.

  10. Honestly other sea side towns embrace the seaside and fish and chip shops and seafood places. Only in Thanet will the news of a fish and chip shop be met with such negativity and doom and gloom.


  11. I was discussing this site with a friend recently. I have no idea how big it is on the inside but I thought it would be the ideal place for Tim Martin (he of Wetherspoons) to add a couple of rooms (as in hotel rooms). Not feeling a fish & chip shop with a perfectly good one opposite. Steve I’m not sure your comparison with Margate is valid tbh. The station is miles away compared to Margate. Margate offers something completely different to Ramsgate in my opinion.

  12. We are no longer in a world where the fish is caught locally and served with chips a few hours later. Some of the fish is from the Baring Sea or the Gulf of Tonkin and is 6 months old before it hits the batter. We used to catch the cod and haddock in the deep cold waters of Norway and Iceland………, but a certain scruffy haired politician with a posh accent in his rush to make Britain great again completely messed up the agreement.

    Thanet has some established safe high quality chippies. Newington, Peters fantastic…… but I would ask Mr Spoons what and where his came from.

  13. So Dave , who exactly is to blame for litter being thrown on pavements the takeaway outlets that serve food or the delinquents who fail to put rubbish in the bins provided or the council for failing to pick up after the aforesaid delinquents 🤔🥱

  14. Oh the lovely smell of fish and chips drifting its way on a warm southerly to the balconies of those living in the over-priced flats that comprise Royal Sands. Fantastic!

  15. Great to see that unused unit which was and falling into external disrepair being considered as a new business.
    Weatherspoons will ensure the conversion is acceptable, they are good at that.
    Only negative thought is the lazy herring gulls could make external dining a pain.
    So much change happening around that area, the new blueberry commercial units will do well. Existing businesses need to have a serious rethink or close&sell up Some already have . Harbour street is on the up, even a well established pub is having an external face-lift so all good.


  16. I love chip shops. The more choice I have the better, as long as I’ll still be able to fit through the door.

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