Published: 00:01, 13 January 2018
An opening date for a long-awaited Mexican restaurant in Sittingbourne High Street has been revealed.
Tacos Locos at the former Bull Inn pub was initially due for a November launch but there were a series of delays.
Following setbacks with the listed building’s refurbishment, including the need to install a whole new heating system, the eatery’s anticipated start date is now Monday, January 22.
The revamp represents a £600,000 investment on the part of Musa Kivrak, the man behind the project, who has bought the freehold of the building.
Mr Kivrak, who also has Tacos Locos branches in Canterbury and Maidstone, said he wanted to wait until after Christmas to begin recruiting the 15 full and part-time staff needed for his latest venture.
The restaurant will cater for up to 65 people on two floors, and offer two bars and comfortable seating – including settees in a lounge area.
An upstairs area would be available to hire for functions such as stag and hen parties.
The Monday opening would enable staff to gradually get used to the place, Mr Kivrak explained.
He says he is hoping to “bring a new lease of life” to the town, and believes there is a gap in the market for such a restaurant.
“Sittingbourne needs something like this,” he said. “There is nothing apart from a few takeaways.
“Sittingbourne deserves to have something a bit better quality.
“Rather than travel to Maidstone, we want to bring people here from the town and surrounding villages.”
Mr Kivrak said he has received “tremendous feedback”, and has been overwhelmed by questions from people at his other businesses wanting to know when the new restaurant would open.
"This is the time to come to Sittingbourne. In a few years the town will be very different." - Musa Kivrak
He added: “This is the time to come to Sittingbourne.
“In a few years the town will be very different, with the council investing a lot of money in the regeneration.
“It will be the next upcoming place, and I feel there is a massive need for it here.”
The Mexican is not the only project he has planned for the town, having set his sights on the former Woolwich bank across the road as a potential venue for an Italian.
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