Published: 13:28, 15 June 2021
| Updated: 17:14, 15 June 2021
An American diner is finally opening today following a difficult and prolonged planning process.
Burger Boys has opened in Faversham Road, Kennington, after being in the works for 19 months.
Due to Covid restrictions, it will remain a takeaway-only business for the next couple of weeks before allowing indoor dining.
However Ashford Borough Council has now given owner Ash Miah the go-ahead.
Originally called Burger Base, the former Essentials gift shop unit has undergone a makeover even since the first planning application for the diner was lodged.
"We just decided to rebrand, we came up with a better idea and look and changed it up," Mr Miah said.
"We've done a hell of a lot of work, and it's been very tough and long due to Covid."
Mr Miah says the site has already been attracting positive remarks from passing residents who are excited to have "something that looks like it would be in the Ashford Designer Outlet but in Kennington".
He is promising a unique experience in Ashford, using quality steak in its burgers.
However diners won't yet get to fully experience the upgraded unit, as Mr Miah is cautious about letting people dine inside and is launching as collection and takeaway only.
The owner - who also run Burger Boys' neighbour Kennington Tandoori and Cinnamon Spice at Eureka Place - noted: "Because of Covid we don't want to let people indoors quite yet as there are still restrictions in place.
"Also we don't want to annoy the neighbours because - with the history of this place - we don't want to upset people.
"But as the government's restrictions ease, we'll gradually open up."
One of the more unique aspects of the business will be a machine that allows steaks to be cooked perfectly via a phone app.
Among the new staff joining the venture is James Yarwood, who has been a chef for 21 years including a career as a head chef at a number of restaurants around the country.
"There's nothing we don't know about steaks - this is in our blood and in our DNA," he said.
"We're paying premium money for our burgers, and nobody else puts as much thought into our burgers as we do.
"We're using steak and making our own burger sauce - it's just an incredible length we're going to to create fantastic burgers unlike anything you'll find in Kent.
"It's going to be absolutely amazing. I've been in this industry a long time and this is the first place like it."
Diners may also be able to take advantage of outdoor seating soon, if a new planning application is approved.
The project would see the installation of a covered patio with planters and circled by a low wall.
Planning agent Sevencroft Ltd said: "The existing area to the front of the restaurants have always been used as display area for the previous shop, however the sloping ground makes it very difficult to use for our client so he would like to level the area to make it a more useful space for his business.
"The overall height of the wall will be 1.1m above the edge of the footpath to prevent pedestrians from falling onto the patio area from the footpath.
"The new patio will provide level access into our client's restaurants for all its customers."
Concerns from nearby residents have been raised, however, mainly querying whether the patio could impair the footpath's accessibility for the disabled.
One nearby homeowner objected, writing: "I am registered blind and have a guide dog. One of the routes we have been taught is from my home to the Co-op in Faversham Road.
"To reach the Co-op, I walk with my guide dog on the pavement along by the premises subject to this planning application.
"I am concerned that if the proposed work were to impinge upon the pedestrian pathway, I would be unable to negotiate my route and therefore be unable to reach the Co-op."