A Maidstone cafe is set to close, with a Belgian bistro to take its place.
The Art Lounge Cafe, which also features a gallery, has been in the Market Buildings for five years but is set to be transformed into 40-seat Cafe Bruges.
The venue, which is opposite recently expanded French eatery Frederic, will close in the next few weeks with the new restaurant intended to open next month.
Applicant Craig Reade, who also has Buenos Aires in the High Street, will run the bistro with partner Linda Pontrieo. They hope a range of 50 Belgian beers, authentic dishes and an atmosphere to suit will transport diners to the Continent.
The 40-year-old said: “Bruges is somewhere we really love and our chef is from around there. We feel we can give customers a real Belgian experience and hope to stay open to a lot later (2am on Saturdays) so couples who want to carry on their nights can come for a relaxing drink.
“I liked the building as it is quirky, and so is the whole concept.” He added he did not see neighbouring Frederic as a threat and instead felt Cafe Bruges would complement existing restaurants.
Alex Mullins, who runs Art Cafe alongside Michael Topley, said it had not worked financially, with around 15 coffee shops opening in town since they moved in.
He said: “It’s been an enjoyable five years, but we just couldn’t carry on. We have done everything right, we make good food and coffee and have great customers, but we just haven’t made enough money and that’s the real sickener.”
Mr Mullins said they had not ruled out a return to the town in some form, with the combination of coffee and art still appealing to them.