Rental deckchairs could be on the way back to Portobello Beach after an absence of more than 30 years in an initiative by pizza specialist Civerinos Slice.
City parks officials are considering a proposal by Civerinos owner, Michele Civiera, to hire out up to 60 deckchairs on the beach directly in front of his soon-to-open outlet located at Noble’s Arcade.
Income from the deckchairs would be used to pay staff to manage and maintain the furniture, to keep the immediate beach and Promenade area clean, with any profits being distributed to three local Portobello charities.
The Deck Chairs That Care plan would see between 40 and 60 deckchairs available for hire to the general public, not only Civerinos customers, and 100 per cent of proceeds would be donated to Portobello Toddlers Hut, Portobello Beach Wheelchairs and Edinburgh Dog & Cat Home.
Michele explained: “Ranks of deckchairs were a common sight on Portobello sands for most of the last century and local families had concessions to rent out the chairs to visitors during the summer months. We would be reintroducing a long-established seaside tradition which would add a new dimension to the beachside environment and benefit local charities.
“The deckchairs will be placed to ensure there is enough room for dog walkers during high tide and will be brought in every night and stored securely. We will employ a dedicated beach litter patroller, who will keep the beach clear of discarded food and packaging.
“Our staff will have it written into their contracts that they will be expected to monitor the local environment and to maintain a tidy walkway and beach, setting an example for visitors and other local businesses, and we will cover the cost of any additional general waste and recycling bins that are needed.”
Civerinos is already well established in the city with other outlets at Forrest Road, Hunter Square and St John’s Road in Corstorphine and Michele hopes to open for business at Prom Slice around 8 April in an initiative which will create up to 26 jobs.
As a Portobello resident who swims daily in the Forth, Michele said the deckchair venture was not focused on profit but about putting something back into the local community on his doorstep.
He added: “I love Portobello and its unique atmosphere and this is more a personal project than generating revenue. I am really excited about opening Prom Slice but if we can add benefit to the local community and increase environmental awareness, then that is a big win for me.”
The new outlet will have indoor seating for about 20 people but the focus will be on takeaway and collection and is expected to be open from 11am to 11pm daily, serving New York-style pizza, meatballs, fries, salads and a selection of non-alcohol drinks and beers.