A popular café in the centre of Bridport has been taken over by two experienced members of the hospitality industry - who have plans to turn it into a restaurant.

The Soulshine Café on South Street has been purchased by Andy Tyrell and Joel Gostling, who between them run the popular pop-up kitchen, Goose and Badger.

Starting from the next phase of the reopening schedule, on Monday, May 17, Soulshine - which will be dropping the 'café' from its name - will be opening six days a week as a lunchtime dining restaurant. It will serve up breakfast and lunch from a tapas-style menu, along with opening Friday and Saturday evenings for a dinner service - with an extended menu.

Despite the slight name change, the new owners want the venue to remain a popular daytime destination and so will continue to sell coffee, both for takeaway and to have in.

Mr Gostling, said: “We'd been working here a lot, have done a pop-up kitchen in December and then using the space for takeaway burgers throughout lockdown.

"Lisa approached us and we discussed the potential of us taking over the venue. It was never the plan originally, but over the past few months we’ve been brought together and we thought the opportunity was too good to pass up.

“It’s an amazing space, and we felt we would have regretted if we passed up the opportunity.

He added: "People seem to be really keen to come back to restaurants and with Andy being a top chef, we want to be more food driven and people seem to be keen to try a new restaurant in town.

"Feedback has been great so far, people feel Bridport is definitely due a new restaurant to visit in the evening. But the proof is in the pudding so we will have to see when we open the doors."

For the next month, Soulshine will continue to sell its takeaway burgers as it has been during the lockdown period. Customers are welcome to take a seat in the outside area to enjoy their burger but are reminded it is a takeaway service so table service will not be available.

Former owner, Lisa Loader, will be staying on board in a supporting role, both hands on and advisory.

She said: "I will still be part of Soulshine and working here for a while to come, so this is by no means goodbye.

"But I am moving on to other things and I'm passing over ownership to two incredible people.

"Soulshine will live on, and in Andy and Joel's hands, I think it's going to get even better."

For more information visit www.facebook.com/wearesoulshine/