Opening of the new Al Molo Dorchester fish restaurant in the Judge Jeffreys building

A NEW fish restaurant with an emphasis on local produce and Italian flavors has opened its doors to diners in one of Dorchester’s most prominent buildings.

Award-winning Italian restaurant, Al Molo, co-owned by Giuseppe Vannucci and Tim Newton, opened its first restaurant on Weymouth’s Pier Bandstand in 2015, has now expanded with the opening of its second restaurant in Dorchester.

Al Molo Dorchester, Ristorante Di Pesce, located in the historic Judge Jeffreys Lodging House on High West Street in Dorchester, welcomed its first guests to the building on Wednesday July 27th.

The owners say they have spent seven months renovating the listed 17th-century building, with the couple working sympathetically to restore original features, previously hidden by years of paint and neglect, and investing heavily in restoring the building architecture. .

Co-owner Mr Newton said: “It is humbling to work with a building with such a rich heritage and such significance to the city. However, given the amount of work to perform and Giuseppe’s cancer treatment, we had to postpone the opening date.

“With Giuseppe on the mend, we were able to take the time to respect the integrity of this historic building. It took months to clear the years of neglect, but it was worth the hard work to restore stunning elements , sympathetically design interiors and refurbish dilapidated infrastructure to reveal a new functional and rather beautiful setting for eating well”.

Mr Newton added: “The fireplace was covered in layers of thick paint with areas of damaged stone and years of grime. It’s gratifying to see it restored to its original splendor and it looks stunning.”

The restaurant’s head chef, Mr. Vannucci, has created a new menu with a strong emphasis on local catches combined with traditional Italian cuisine.

Mr Vannucci said: “The fish from our local waters is second to none and I have developed these menus over the years to find the perfect setting to serve them. They combine the fresh taste of our seas with the cuisine traditional Italian.. It is a pleasure to put on the table these new dishes, as well as my new vegetarian and meat proposals, in a setting that highlights the quality of the products.

Mayor of Dorchester, Councilor Janet Hewitt, said: “This new restaurant is a welcome addition to High West Street, not only because it has saved a historic asset to our town from further neglect and creates more opportunities, but also to bring a quality dining experience celebrating local produce to our doorstep.”

The new restaurant is still recruiting and inviting those interested in working in the hospitality industry to get in touch.

Mr. Newton added: “As we grow our business, we will create new employment opportunities and urge those seeking employment in this fast-paced and rewarding industry to contact us now. We offer flexible hours, a friendly environment and fantastic training for those looking to work in our prestigious restaurants.

Al Molo Dorchester Ristorante Di Pesce (fish) is open for dinner, Tuesday to Saturday from 5pm with last orders at 9pm. It is open for lunch, Wednesday to Saturday from 12 p.m. to 2.30 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3.30 p.m.

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