Published: 11:26, 22 June 2021
| Updated: 13:45, 22 June 2021
The French have been dominating the football - and now they’ve taken over one Maidstone street too.
Café De Paris has opened up in Market Buildings, just 150ft away from the town’s highest-rated Continental restaurant, Frederic Bistro.
The new venue has set up in the unit previously occupied by Harpers Coffee and Gifts, which closed last March.
But its owner, Billy Ahaouari, insists it will have much more than French fare on its menu.
He said: “We do a mixture of Mediterranean food including Spanish food, some French food, Italian, and with time, we will be introducing other types too. There is a little bit for everyone.
“We’re not French, I just like the name and thought it was good for the restaurant to give it a different approach.
“I couldn’t see a restaurant with a similar offering here in Maidstone.”
The 51-year-old has a background in finance but has previously managed a restaurant in Spain. He aims to change Café de Paris’ menu every two to three weeks.
Meanwhile, Frederic owner Ulric Allsebrook, who hails from the Dordogne region, says he welcomes the new venue.
“I welcome any new addition to the town,” he said.
“The more premises we have the more everyone feeds off one another, and the more people see Maidstone as an eating destination which is good for everybody.
“So I welcome their arrival with open arms.”
Mr Ahaouari has been pleased with the response from customers since opening Café De Paris last month.
He said: “The people who have been here have really liked it and we have had plenty of people returning.
“The feedback that we have had is brilliant so far.
"Having a restaurant was always a vision I had and I thought this was a good opportunity.”
Frederic opened in 2012 and is the highest-rated restaurant in Maidstone according to review site TripAdvisor.
For the Café De Paris menu and opening times, click here.