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Diner and pizzeria to open in Yell

A NEW restaurant and pizzeria is set to open in the North Isles next week as part of a redevelopment of Yell’s old junior high school.

L J’s Diner and Pizzeria will open its doors to the public on Monday following a preview event on Sunday.

The venture is the first stage in a redevelopment of the old Mid Yell junior high school, with a ten-bedroom hotel due to follow.

Completing the development, which is led by local company Triton Developments, will be five flats.

The restaurant will employ eight people and its range of dishes will include steak, three bean chilli and burgers.

Set to be popular is the variety of pizzas, with toppings such as pulled pork and vegetable feast on the menu.

It will be open in the school’s former arts department from 8am to 8pm, with weekends due to be open one hour longer.

There will be seating for up to 44 people, while an outside area will fit 24 guests.

The old Mid Yell junior high school prior to its redevelopment. Photo: Mike Pennington

Triton Developments’ Jan Williamson said the company’s members has a background in hospitality and catering.

The project is set to provide a small employment boost for the island, with teenagers set to be given a chance to learn the ropes.

“It’s especially good for youngsters – they can get their first job as well and as well as some training,” Williamson said.

“Hopefully it will enhance Yell and people might stay there instead of racing through to Unst.

“It’s also about giving something to the locals as well, so they’ve got somewhere to go.”

Also involved in the project are two local entrepreneurs, Eddie Couper and his partner Hazel Wiggins.

The following stage in the redevelopment process will be fine-tuning the planning for the hotel, which has already been approved.

Williamson said the timespan for the ten-bedroom development could be “two to three years”.

The hotel is set to have its own restaurant, which will focus more on “fine-dining” for guests.

The large building has been empty since the new school was opened in 2010.