Riley's Fish Shack man crowdfunding his way to shipping container restaurant idea

Adam Riley has successfully built a name for his pop-up fish grill in Tynemouth

Damian Baetens, director of Transmit Start Ups with Adam Riley (front) beside King Edward 's Bay, Tynemouth
Damian Baetens, director of Transmit Start Ups with Adam Riley (front) beside King Edward 's Bay, Tynemouth

A pop-up restaurant entrepreneur is hoping to establish a more permanent pitch for his fish bar with the help of an ambitious crowdfunding campaign.

Adam Riley, who runs Riley’s Fish Shack at Tynemouth’s King Edwards Bay is hoping to raise £20,000 to build a semi-portable fish bar and grill using shipping containers.

The food entrepreneur launched Riley’s Fish Shack in May 2012, using an empty, concreted space next to the beach to serve grilled fish from each weekend over the summer months.

Mr Riley now intends to launch a more permanent base on which to build his business, and hopes to operate outside of the summer season, in all weather.

He has lined up three prospective locations for the “Tackle Box”, including the existing King Edward’s Bay site. He expects to open for business in Spring this year, in time for the Tynemouth Food Festival in May.

Plans for Tackle Box
Plans for Tackle Box

He said: “The Fish Shack was so busy last summer, we were inundated. This is about giving our customers something new.

“I’d been thinking for some time about building the business and having seen available shops - I’d toyed with the idea of settling down.

“I really like the idea of having a semi-permanent base which could potentially be transported to different sites. It could be moved up the coast to different beaches.”

The crowdfunding campaign offers backers a range of rewards based on the value of their donation; from having a lobster cooked at a location of their choice, through private catering for a special event to a lifetime of Fish Shack meals.

So far the campaign has raised more than £2,870 and Mr Riley says the total amount will be matched by private investment.

The unit will contain a wood fired pizza oven for the Fish Shack to cook its own flatbreads to accompany dishes, as well as a charcoal BBQ.

Plans for the Tackle Box
Plans for the Tackle Box

Riley’s was helped by a loan from Transmit Start Ups when it launched in 2013. The money provided for a purpose built kitchen and wet room on North Shields Fish Quay.

Mr Riley trained as a chef on the Isle of Man before returning to the North East to join his father, Ozzie Riley’s Dodgy Clutch theatre company.

He is also a co-director of the successful Boiler Shop Steamer - a regular event held at Newcastle’s Stephenson Works amalgamating food, drink and music.

He formulated the idea with his friend Matt Boyle of Wylam Brewery, partly as a solution to being promised lucrative pitches by event promoters only to find the crowds arrive with their own food.


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