Published: 13:38, 11 January 2022
| Updated: 13:50, 11 January 2022
A new Turkish restaurant with a jazz bar and a kebab van is preparing to open next to Ashford International station.
Named Cappadocia after the region of Turkey famous for scenic hot-air balloon trips, the site in Station Road – most recently known as Otto Bar and Shisha Lounge – promises to serve traditional cultural food.
While an opening date is yet to be confirmed, bosses hope the restaurant will be ready as soon as next month.
In the meantime, the kebab van which sits just outside Cameo nightclub is set to open on Friday.
Owner Serkan Gungor, who has worked in catering for 20 years, said: "The middle bit, as well as the terrace, will be an eating area where we will serve traditional Turkish food.
"I have done my research and there’s no jazz bar in Ashford, and I like jazz music, and I wanted to do something different to stand out.
"In total we can cater for about 100 people so it's quite a big venue.
"We also have a kebab van outside the nightclub which we hope to open by the end of this week if all goes to plan."
The site next to Papa John's was famously occupied by The Kent Arms for more than 50 years.
Greene King took over and re-named it the Fat Fiddler in the early 1990s.
In 2011, it was then converted into the Ashford Business Centre and a wine bar called Platform 5.
The Breeze Bar then took over but moved out in 2017 after spending less than a year in the building.
However the pair have now decided to redesign the business after issues with Ashford Borough Council regarding outside space.
The 37-year-old said: "They confirmed I could provide shisha, then all of a sudden they changed their mind.
"I believe everything happens for a reason and that’s the way I'm going to look at it.
"I can’t just give up, I want to find a different way of making it work."
Shisha is a way of smoking flavoured tobacco, which is usually burned using charcoal and filtered using a pipe and water.
Lounges must comply with the health act which ensures all shisha smoking and waterpipes are used in open-air locations.
Mr Gungor and his family have previously been involved in restaurants in Tunbridge Wells, Gillingham and South East London where he lived before moving to Ashford a few months ago.