A MILLIONAIRE investor has bought a seafront venue less than a mile from his house.

Venture capitalist Luke Davis, 40, has revealed his £2,250,000 “coffee and cocktails” vision for the Hove Lawns building.

His plans for the site previously known as Venue – and before that The View and the Babylon Lounge – includes affordable food, woodburners, big open windows, a rooftop terrace and the potential for a outdoor big screen.

Mr Davis, who lives in nearby Langdale Road, Hove, said he is “building something for the community”.

Sketches Luke has provided to The Argus give an idea of his vision. He plans to pump money into the upkeep and development of the nearby area, such as replanting greenery and installing a play park for children.

The IW Capital boss and former employee of American Express in Edward Street, Brighton, said: “It will be like Soho House but without the pretentiousness.

“I used to walk past this place with my wife and kids seeing the potential this site could have with the some TLC.

“Then after a couple of drinks, I rang up the owner and said ‘I want to buy the building’.

“This is the most of my own money that I have put in a single project.

“I want something me and my family, along with all the other families in the area, can go to and enjoy.”

The venue is at Western Lawns, Hove, near the tennis courts.

Mr Davis promises a “venue for all seasons” with discounts for nearby residents and even a free food delivery for beach hut owners.

A range of food will be on offer, with main dishes from £15 and selection of ice creams.

Beachgoers will also be treated to drink and food deliveries – courtesy of an app which allows people to make orders from their phone.

The venue will have a rooftop terrace with a viewing platform. Log burners, and lighting decorations outside “will keep people cosy and warm” in the winter.

He also envisages a back yard cinema club with a big screen for film showings.

The venue currently holds a 5am licence but despite running evenings at nightclubs Zap and Pressure Point in his younger years Mr Davis promises it will be “nothing like a nightclub” but rather a “civilised space with cocktails and live music”.

Mr Davis is also promising to work with the community to improve the neighbouring area. He said: “This is a place the people of west Hove hold dearly and could be the catalyst for further investment.

“I’m having to take time out of my day job to see this through, this is a passion project.

“There are still hoops to jump through but I know the community want something here.

People don’t want to drive past and see this place like an eyesore. I’m offering to look after the green and we could put in a kids’ playground and replant the area. I don’t want to do anything the community do not want – I live here too.”

Work is set to begin on stripping out the building to its core before building begins.

Mr Davis said the venue will launch in March.

He said he will be seeking planning permission for some aspects of it, including the rooftop.

He is asking anyone in the area who has concerns, suggestions or feedback to get in touch by emailing him at luke@iwcapital.co.uk.

He wants to involve the community in naming the venue by drawing up a shortlist of three names which people can vote on.

Westbourne ward councillors Chris Henry and Carmen Appich have been working with the investor to bring regeneration to the area.

Cllr Henry said: “I’m really excited about the plans.

“As councillors, Carmen and myself have campaigned strongly for family friendly facilities for this area to compensate for what has been lost in the area recently.

“We’re hopeful therefore that as well as gaining a first class seafront bar and community space we will see the introduction of play equipment and disabled access so we’re supporting Luke all the way.”

Sue Johnson, secretary of West Hove Seafront Action Group has, has also welcomed the proposal.

The campaigner, who is also secretary of the Friends of Hove Lagoon group, said: “Our group was set up by community organisations and businesses to work with the council to improve our part of the Hove seafront, as we felt it has been neglected for some time, at the expense of central Brighton.

“Luke Davis is very keen to work with our community to ensure

his venture is what local people want.

“We believe the new restaurant will be very popular with residents of all ages and will complement the other cafes and restaurants in the area, like the very successful Big Beach Cafe, the cafe at Hove Watersports and Lex’s cafe by Hove Lawns.”