Published: 00:01, 21 February 2019
A popular village restaurant is to reopen today - almost three years after it was destroyed in a huge fire.
The Joshan of Wye was forced to close after the devastating blaze consumed most of the building in June 2016.
The fire - believed to have started accidentally in the extraction system - caused extensive damaged to the Indian restaurant which was made worse when thieves stole food from two outbuildings just hours after the blaze.
But owner Si Rahman will now reopen the high street site at 5pm this evening after spending up to £200,000 on refurbishments.
"The whole inside of the building burnt down, there was nothing left," Mr Rahman said.
"I literally lost everything in the fire, I had to start from scratch and completely rebuild the site.
"The design has completely changed including the colours and the front of the building.
"We've tried to keep a happy medium between a modern and village look."
A number of new items have been added to the menu, with a fresh focus on a traditional Bangladeshi cuisine.
Mr Rahman added: "The original menu stands, but we have introduced lots of new dishes including a grill and vegan menu.
"It's has been a long journey. We've had a lot of support from the local community and village.
"We've been in the village since 1992 and people are looking forward to it reopening.
"When the fire happened the entire inside of the property burnt down - you could stand inside and look up to the sky.
"We now have a completely new look."
The Joshan of Wye - which also offers takeaway - will be closed on Mondays, but open throughout the rest of the week.
No one was injured in the blaze in 2016, which at least six fire engines attended.
At the time of the incident, a Kent Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said: “Swift action by crews on the scene using a cold-cutting fire-fighting system significantly reduced the extent of the blaze, preventing the fire from spreading to adjacent commercial buildings.
“The kitchen of the restaurant was severely damaged by the fire and one of the flats above the premises and the roof of the property were also damaged.”
Fire crews spent almost five hours tackling the blaze, which started at about 2.30pm.
The two-storey building is Grade II-listed.
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More by this authorGeorgia Woolf