SOUTHEND'S new posh seafront restaurant has set up an online booking system after being bombarded with hundreds of emails asking for reservations.

Bourgee steak and lobster bar, run by celebrity chef Mark Baumann, opens on Eastern Esplanade on September 15.

And co-owner James Welling revealed the restaurant had been so overwhelmed with interest they have been forced to sep up an online booking system to cope with the demand which will go live soon.

He said: "We've had hundreds of emails and the support and interest levels have been staggering, so weメre delighted with that response.

"This way, people will be able to book reservations for our opening night on September 15 via our website.

"Everywhere we go we seem to get very positive comments ヨ there really is a buzz about it."

The restaurant has applied for a late licence, allowing the sale of alcohol between 7am and 1.30am, seven days a week.

Bourgee also wants to provide live music during the same hours, with recorded music played from 7am to 2am. It has also applied for performances of dance between 7am and 1.30am, to serve late-night refreshments between 11pm and 2am, and to have opening hours of 7am to 2am.

The interior of the restaurant is currently being decorated. It features alligator skin stools at a black minimalist bar, while the main dining area will be lit by hundreds of individual lights in the ceiling.

The restaurant will be the first of 15 to open under the Bourgee franchise and Mr Baumann is selling Baumannメs Brasserie, in Coggeshall, north Essex, to focus on the business.

Mr Baumann and Mr Welling said the concept for the restaurant was to provide affordable luxury because "there is no reason why superb product, service and venues should not be available to everyone."

Comments on the licence application can be made to the council up until September 25.

When the booking system goes live it can be found at