Published: 07:00, 19 August 2017
Progress is being made on converting two historic town centre buildings into restaurants.
Businessman Musa Kivrak plans to open a branch of Mexican-themed Tacos Locos in the former Bull Inn pub in Sittingbourne High Street.
He also intends to transform an old bank on the opposite side of the road at number 60 into an, as yet unnamed, Italian venture.
Mr Kivrak hoped the Mexican would open this month, after the installation of new bars, flooring and a kitchen.
But he now says it’s likely to start trading at the end of September.
“A lot of hard work has been going on at The Bull like rewiring, painting and decorating,” said Mr Kivrak, who also owns Tacos Locos in Canterbury.
“We’ve had a lift put in because the kitchen is upstairs and the CCTV and alarm system is also being installed - there’s about six weeks of work left on that one.”
He added in the next few weeks they would start to recruit staff for Tacos Locos including chefs, waitresses and cocktail mixers.
Meanwhile, plans for the Italian, which would be in the former Woolwich bank, which has been empty for seven years, have been submitted to Swale council.
Mr Kivrak said he was hopeful the change of use would be approved after backing from the council’s environmental health department. If planning permission is granted, he intends to buy the building.
“I’m hoping for the end of the year or beginning of the next to open,” he added.
“It’s not been used as a restaurant before so there’s a lot of work to be done.”
Under the plans, a seating area would be installed on the ground floor, along with an enlarged kitchen.
A toilet for people with disabilities would also be added and ornate wooden panelling that formed part of the main banking hall would be retained but painted over.
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