Louie On Sea cafe/restaurant to open at Turner Contemporary in January

Louie On Sea cafe will launch at Turner Contemporary in January

Westgate residents and Louie Louie café co-owners  Chris and Lena Greenwood will bring their restaurant and café to Turner Contemporary with the launch of Louie On Sea in January.

Partnering with isle chef Julian Brown, of Love Café, Samphire and Streets, Louie on Sea will open on Saturday 20 January  in time for the Spring Exhibition – Beyond Form: Lines of Abstraction, 1950-1970.

A café by day and restaurant by night, Louie On Sea will serve lunch and brunch offerings during the day, and aperitivo with music in the evenings.

As a welcome addition to Margate’s burgeoning food scene, they will host ticketed supper clubs with nationally and internationally renowned chefs.

Louie On Sea takes over from Turner Contemporary’s pop-up café Staple which took the reins when previous operators Barletta ceased trading at the end of 2022 due to ‘the financial impact’ of a bank scam.

Louie Louie has been the resident café at the South London Gallery since January 2023, and will take up residency in Turner Contemporary’s café to deliver coffee by Redemption Roasters, pastries and cakes by Staple, cocktails and a range of seasonal and locally sourced menu choices to suit all dietary preferences.

Turner Contemporary and Louie On Sea are committed to ensuring that produce is locally sourced, and operations are as sustainable as possible. Founders of Louie On Sea, Chris and Lena, bring over 30 years of catering experience.

Clarrie Wallis. Credit Matt Greenwood

Clarrie Wallis, Director of Turner Contemporary, said: “We are delighted to be working with an experienced and creative restaurant team, bringing a new and exciting approach to our café at Turner Contemporary.

“The café is a warm, welcoming space that significantly enhances the gallery experience. It’s a place where the community can gather, reflecting our commitment to supporting local suppliers and strengthening the town’s social fabric.”

A Louie On Sea spokesperson added: “We are really honoured to have been given the opportunity to spread our wings and ethos to Margate inside this wonderful building. Having spent the last year running the café at the South London Gallery gave us the confidence to go national.

“Alongside our local partner chef Julian Brown, we look forward to serving the gallery audience and public great value quality produce, sourced locally and sustainably.”

For supplier enquiries, please contact Chris Greenwood on [email protected].

The café, and gallery’s Foyle Rooms are available to hire for events and weddings, which can be booked by emailing: [email protected]


  1. So is that £15 for a flashy named coffee and thin slice of cake . I bet the tg are happy for more easy money ie rent.

    • Not aimed at the locals then ?

      Apertivio of an evening ? I had to look it up to make sure I was on the right track !

      Ticketed supper clubs . . . that will definitely keep the Margate riff-raff out.

      • absolute scandal that the Beano cafe hasn’t been handed the concession, one more nail in the coffin for traditional thanetian values

      • You’ve honestly never heard of an aperatif, a pre-meal drink to stimulate the appetite? And there’s plenty of money in Thanet.

  2. Never mind the Turner. When will someone open the cafe near Bethesda, it needs a new look and person with a bit of get up and go, serving through a doorway is no good, if the current people who run the place can’t be bothered hand it to someone who can.

    • Completely agree Fred. It was a very good cafe and still could be in the hands of someone who could be bothered. Apparently it was closed because “it costs too much to heat”, an excuse that applied all through the summer too!

  3. Staples in my view was the best concession to run at the Turner. Is this really the best for inclusivity that the Turner gallery can come up with? Will this be the third or fourth concession to attempt this type of venture, to the exclusion of moderate income earners and locals.
    Even if successful In danger like the previous incarnations of being a little too pricey and pretentious for margate.

    • Exactly.

      Designed and priced to keep the riff-raff out.

      We would not want any of Margate’s proletariat rubbing shoulders with the great and the good from the world of refined and revered art and artists now would we ?

  4. Did Staples not want to carry on? Were they not selected to bid? Remembering that the last franchise, before Staples, rather strangely got into a financial scam and had to leave the Turner rather abruptly, but could then set up an another cafe in Northdown Road rather quickly. They were too pricey and too often closed. Shame as it looks like the same mistakes are being made again.

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