The Star Inn the Harbour, based at the impressively revamped former Tourist Information Centre building at Dock End, was unveiled to invited guests at a special thank you event in glorious weather last night.
Restaurant bookings are being taken from July 1 but work was completed ahead of schedule, so Mr Pern decided on a “soft opening” on a trial and error basis, to make sure everything is working okay.
With successful businesses already established in York and Harome, Whitby-born Mr Pern is thrilled to be opening a new venture in his hometown.
“I have a lot more affinity and love for Whitby, so I’ll make sure it does succeed,” he told the Gazette.
“The Star at Harome is close to our hearts and we will have been there 21 years next week, but this one means a lot with my parents living in Sleights and my grandparents in Whitby and Sandsend.
“I was at college with our head chef Wayne Gildroy so there are a lot of local connections. The one thing I’m particularly proud of is that, apart from the restaurant manager, the staff are all home-grown.”
The restaurant has created 40 jobs and has already established close links with the community.
Apart from having a pantry of seafood on the doorstep of the nautical-themed eatery, dishes on the menu include Yorkshire ham salad with Danby quail eggs and Whitby Brewery chutney, as well as Earl Grey sundae with Botham’s brack.
The food is heavily seafood orientated but with a mixture of game and countryside dishes too.
Mr Pern was pleased with the feedback he got on Wednesday night.
“It’s been brilliant, people are chuffed that it’s been put to good use,” he said. “We’re chuffed with the space and the decor and hopefully we can give something back to the town.”
Renovation work has been quick – it only began in March.