Original article from Kent Live
The Pilot Beach Bar is a special place to have a drink.
Located right on Folkestone beach – a stone's (or pebble's) throw from the hugely popular Harbour Arm – punters can sit on a deck chair, lean back and take in the twinkling azure of the English Channel.
Palm trees are even dotted around.
Yet the atmosphere was not entirely tranquil on Wednesday afternoon (April 14).
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The reason is something of a double-edged sword.
Yards away, workers were busily constructing another unit next door to the Pilot Bar, completing a section of the Arm that will be known as Beachside.
I'm told it will eventually become a premises selling seafood, opening in June.
In the meantime however, loud drilling and hammering took place pretty much throughout the two hours or so I was sat there having a few drinks.
It didn't feel very tranquil.
Especially so when you added in the chilly temperatures and blustery winds – of course well outside of anyone's control – and the new website system where you have to order drinks, which very much is.
The Yoello payment system they've started using all over the Harbour Arm means you have to register an account before you can do anything.
Logging into the NHS track and trace system is one thing, and of course understandable in the middle of a global pandemic.
But by the the time you've done that, registered a Yoello account, selected the order and provided your card details, it's a protracted process.
It got to the point where I wasn't sure what was louder – the incessant drilling, or the chorus of tuts from older generations around baffled by the number of steps one has to follow these days to order a pint of IPA.
Anyhow, the bar itself is a wonderful space.
No doubt it will be a fantastic one to relax in once the work next door is finished.
There was a good range of beers, served quickly given how busy it was.
The shipping container unit was well furbished, and the wooden paths, rocks and deck chairs (and normal tables and chairs) made for a really nice, bohemian feel.
Add in the seafood unit next door, you just know that Beachside is going to become a gem of a spot.
It will be another asset for Folkestone, whose hospitality game, pandemic aside, seems to continue going from strength to strength in recent years.
My friend and I knocked our glasses together, giving cheers to this wonderful fact on Wednesday.
I'm just not entirely sure he'd heard what I said.