You will know Below Decks as the friendly Bistro which serves delicious food and overlooks Torquay’s harbourside – and that it is! But for us, it is also the calm after our storm – quite literally!
This year, we celebrate 10 years at Below Decks so what better time than now to tell you a little bit about us and how we came to own this wonderful place.
Let’s rewind a few years.
Life before Below Decks
You could say hospitality is in our blood. Born in what is now The Backpackers on Abbey Road, Torquay, Gayle and Adele (2/3rds of Below Decks ownership) have spent a whole lifetime living, running and owning hotels and restaurants. Following a stint at the Holiday Flats in Torquay, at 11 and 16, Gayle and Adele moved into the Norcliffe Hotel, Babbacombe. Whilst there, they welcomed Michele (their sister-in-law and last third of Below Decks ownership!) into their family.
In 1994 Adele, their brother Dean and Michele started their first business venture – co-ownership of The Downs, Babbacombe. At this time, Gayle was still a pipsqueak but as soon as she was able, in 2002, bought the Beachcomber shop in Paignton.
In 2004, the sale of both these investments enabled Gayle and Adele to purchase the café on Oddicombe Beach and 4 short years later, together with Michele, they bought the Galley Sandwich Bar in Torquay.
Below Decks is ours!
And suddenly it’s 2009 and Below Decks, a closed and unloved Café came on to the radar – an opportunity that could not be missed. Time was spent making minor tweaks, listening to customers and forming a vision as to what the ‘new and improved’ Below Decks would become.
The calm after the storm
You may recall the horrendous storms in 2014. The same storm that ripped away at Dawlish’ coastline, also caused devastation for our family. Our lovely Oddicombe Beach Café was destroyed and we were forced to make the heartbreaking decision to move on.
Although through upsetting circumstances, the sale of Oddicombe Beach allowed for the investment in Wellswood Post Office, as well as a renovation project to take place at Below Decks; transforming it into the place it is today:
The Below Decks, you all know and love!
We hope to be here for many, many years and have some exciting plans for the future – Hint: longer opening hours, more fabulous events and an even better outside seating area!
Watch this space!
Adele, Gayle and Michele x