However, to make it work, he needed the help of Gree UK and refrigeration and air conditioning contractor Coolmark.
The problem was that one of the things that attracted Bob to the Crosshils, Keithley site in the first place – the former showroom’s three glass walls – meant the temperature in the restaurant, which he renamed the Trawlerman, was putting off his customers.
Hot, No Matter What
“The former owners converted the building into a restaurant in 2011 and spent a lot of money, but it did not work,” said Bob. “When we bought it we realised straight away that one of the problems was that, even in October, on a sunny day it was too warm and it would be boiling in summer. Usually, customers like to sit near the windows, but no-one did here. It was evident we needed air conditioning.”
Bob turned to Coolmark, which had already installed his new walk-in freezer, which recommended Gree on the grounds of performance, efficiency and cost effectiveness.
Coolmark director, Mark Kenyon, said:
“To cope with the massive solar gain from all the glass in the 2,250 sq ft, 125 cover restaurant, we knew we would need some serious power, with carefully sited indoor units.
“We decided the best option was a Gree VR5 VRF outdoor unit and four Gree 7.5kW ceiling cassettes. We chose Gree after researching the offerings from a number of manufacturers and Gree won on a number of criteria, including cost and build quality. The people at Gree UK were also extremely helpful throughout.
“Because of the size of the restaurant and the differences in temperature near the windows, we installed four remote wired control pads, so each cassettes temperature, fan speed and louvre direction could be set independently to offer the optimum comfort in each quadrant of the room.
“This fully controllable design will also be a significant advantage when it comes to providing heating for customers in the winter if they sit around entrance doors or, again next to the windows.
“The location of the outdoor unit was a bit of a challenge. The roof was not suitable and, of course, we only had one wall to choose from, which was mostly metal cladding. Because of concerns about possible vandalism in a secluded and easily accessible area, mounting it on the ground was not feasible, so the only option was to mount it through the wall to the concrete edge of the mezzanine floor.”
“The customers think it is brilliant, especially the ones who knew it from before. It will also be perfect for the heating it can provide in the real winter months, as glass lets the heat out as quickly as it lets it in and traps it. It was worth the cost.”
Bob, who already owns and runs the Ramsey Trawlerman on the Isle of Man, has been selling fish and chips for 37 years, starting in Barnsley in 1979 and running some outlets throughout Yorkshire and the Northwest, until he moved to the Isle of Man in 1992.
This year, he decided he wanted to expand back into England again, so he began looking for a location in a big fish and trip area that was not on the High Street and therefore subject to lots of competition.
The Trawlerman serves traditional fish and chips and pies, but also more innovative steamed salmon with salad, and a sharing platter of mac ‘n’ cheese sticks, spicy mozzarella sticks, scampi, chicken goujons and fish goujons. It also serves a three-course meal for £9.50 and senior meal for pensioners for just £6 comprising fish, chips peas, tea or coffee, bread and butter.
“With our new menu, air conditioning and complete modernisation our business has taken off, and we are three times busier than the previous owners.”