FOOD MATTERS The Jolly Jacks team. Photo by Alex Allwood
With its sunny terrace outside and roaring log fire inside, Jolly Jacks waterfront bar, bistro and restaurant at Mayflower Marina is the place to go, whatever the weather. And, with distinct bar and restaurant areas that scream ‘come on in’, the bistro in Richmond Walk is a place for all occasions too, whether it’s breakfast, lunch, dinner, celebration or simply a drink. It’s easy to see how the now thriving bistro has become a honeypot for anyone who enjoys a touch of ambience to go with their food. If you look out over the marina, there are views across the river to the Royal William Yard, while just outside Jolly Jacks is the South West Coast Path at Mount Wise. ‘JJs’ as it’s known to regulars, has enjoyed a wonderful busy summer with plenty of long al fresco days enjoying local fresh fare and a chilled glass or two of something nice. Now, it’s time to stoke up the fire and start preparing for the next big holiday period: Christmas. The two friends behind the success story are Sally Baum and Sue Robson, who had the vision and drive to take over the premises in 2010 even though it required a complete makeover. Some thought they were mad to even take it on: “I remember being in here refurbishing the place and people would come in and say ‘oh, it’ll never survive a winter’,” said Sally. “But we never intended Jolly Jacks to be a marina bar; we always had a vision of it being much more than that, with something for everyone to enjoy.” Sally and Sue go back a long way, first meeting when they worked as 15-year-olds in the same restaurant in their home county of Leicestershire. Their paths continued to cross over the years, and Sue met her husband David while working in a restaurant owned by Sally’s sister. Some years later they bumped into each other again – an encounter that would lead to them opening Jolly Jacks. “Fate has played a hand in all of this,” said Sally. “When I bumped into Sue, she and David were about to go on their yacht, Parson Jack, from Mayflower Marina down to Gran Canaria. I sort of invited myself along and it was then that we chatted about what we’d do if we had the chance to take over the café at the marina. Lo and behold, a few months later, it became available. We both loved Plymouth, so we upped sticks with our families and moved down. “At first, we didn’t know a soul, so while we were doing the place up, we were also finding out where to source quality produce and where to hire the best staff. We had less than a month to get everything done, so it was all hands on deck.
Jolly Jacks – Plym waterfront venue But we could see the potential and having both been in the restaurant industry pretty much all our lives, we knew what we were doing.” Sally added: “I think what we’ve created here is pretty unique. We wanted to turn it into the sort of place where we’d want to go ourselves, somewhere with a warm, friendly and relaxing atmosphere, with quality food and drink.” It’s safe to say they’ve achieved just that. Since opening, Jolly Jacks has established a reputation for both its food and ambience: “We source our produce locally, always have done,” said Sally. “It’s all fresh, nothing is frozen, and we have very talented chefs that produce beautiful dishes of food.” Led by head chef Chris Scantlebury, the kitchen team starts at 9am for the breakfast shift up to 11.30am. The main menu is from 12 noon and the food service doesn’t stop until 9pm. The most popular dishes are beer-battered fish and hand cut chips with mushy peas and tartare sauce; 8oz steak burger topped with cheddar cheese, smoked bacon, homemade chips and tomato chutney; homemade pie of the day; local mussels; and the daily seafood specials. The Sunday roast is popular too, with service starting at 12.30 each Sunday and carrying on all day until the food runs out! Local ales and ciders are available on tap and the wines are carefully selected from two suppliers. There are some wines here that you won’t find anywhere else in Plymouth. The menu and daily specials will still be available during the festive period, alongside the Christmas party menu that starts at the
Story by Laura Joint
The popular sun terrace at Jolly Jacks
The Plymouth Magazine October 2017
The 160th edition of Plymouth's popular and biggest circulation "lifestyle" magazine delivered to 45,000 homes every month.