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Owners of Sultan Sofrasi in Gravesend to open Mediterranean restaurant in Kings Arms pub, Meopham

Two brothers have invested £300,000 to turn a village pub into a Mediterranean restaurant

The owners of popular Turkish eatery Sultan Sofrasi, in Gravesend are renovating the Kings Arms, in Meopham, with hopes of welcoming customers in March.

New owners Mehmet and Muzo Celik
New owners Mehmet and Muzo Celik

Mehmet and Muzo Celik signed a 20-year lease with the Wellington Pub Company for the site in Wrotham Road earlier this year.

Muzo, 25, said: "Meopham needs a Mediterranean restaurant. When we took it over a renovation was needed."

The pair are in the process of completely refurbishing the inside of the 17th century building to give the restaurant a fresher look while also keeping the historical features.

Muzo said: "We do not want to upset the local people or lose the history of the building. We want to keep it as historical as much as we can."

His older brother Mehmet, 29, added: "We did not think it was going to be a big project but it was. We have gone over budget.

"This is part of making a business. You need to look after the property even if you do not own it and that is what we are going to do."

It will be opening as a Mediterranean restaurant
It will be opening as a Mediterranean restaurant

It will be serving Mediterranean-inspired dishes including steaks, pasta, shish kebab, and vegetarian options – although the menu is still being decided.

The restaurant will seat 120 people, use local food and produce where possible and hire 20 staff. They will also be renovating the garden and outside area.

Originally from Norfolk, Muzo and Mehmet learned the trade from their father who ran a restaurant for around 35 years. They say they were always working there when they were younger.

Muzo added: "When we were young we would learn from our father. It is not just our job but it has been our whole life.

"For us it is about the quality of food and the community. We will have great customers and it will do well. We have a few people coming in every day asking when we are opening."

The pair also own Sultan Sofrasi in New Road, Gravesend, which opened in 2016.

From left: Mehmet and Muzo Celik also own Sultan Sofrasi in Gravesend
From left: Mehmet and Muzo Celik also own Sultan Sofrasi in Gravesend

Muzo said: "We are both young. We just want to expand in Kent and if we see a need we will be there, like we have here.

"We have people coming to visit us from the likes of Canterbury and Rochester.

"If another great opportunity comes up, we would check it out."

The Kings Arms restaurant is planning to hold a soft launch on Wednesday, March 1.

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