A town centre cafe has been given a £50k makeover - as its owners finalise plans for a fourth branch and set their sights on a new rooftop restaurant.
Cafe Nucleus Lounge in Chatham is being refitted with vibrant jungle and leopard print furnishings for the launch of the new food-led venue.
An extensive wine list will accompany the extended food choice for shoppers and diners.
Aaron Sergejenkovs-Telford, Nucleus' managing director, said the £50k investment reaffirms the art company and charity's commitment to the town, which is in the throes of a multi-million pound regeneration project.
And now the owners have confirmed they have been approached about running the proposed rooftop restaurant at nearby Mountbatten House, the disused office block on top of the Pentagon shopping centre.
He said: "Our investment in our Military Road site is a vote of confidence in the regeneration of Chatham town centre.
"We can also confirm we have made an initial expression of interest in the rooftop restaurant on Mountbatten House which is a few years in the making."
The news comes as the team, which is behind an award-winning string of cafes and galleries, is still waiting to finalise paperwork before opening up its fourth branch.
It had been hoped that the new cafe in Rainham, which will have art space and studios, would open in a former solicitor's office in the High Street this spring.
But Mr Sergejenkovs-Telford said: "Unfortunately until we exchange, given the nature of the negotiations, we can't confirm opening dates. I'm hoping for early summer."
He added: "We have an entire new look launching with the Lounge becoming a 'micro' brand from Café Nucleus in its own right.
"In turn, this has created an additional two full-time positions in Military Road."
Plans have already been unveiled for the new Rainham venue including fine-dining and a wall of up to 2,000 carefully-selected wines will be on offer.
Mr Sergejenkovs-Telford, who went to school and used to live in the town, and his partner Sergejs Sergejenkovs, have been looking at properties in the area for years.
Hot on the heels of the success of their other establishments, they were encouraged by Medway Council to consider a move to either Rainham or Gillingham and they conducted a survey which has shown nearly a quarter of their existing customers live in the ME8 postcode area.
Mr Sergejenkovs-Telford said the restaurant and artistic side of the business were equally as important.
But added: "Everybody's got to eat. The cafe acts as a stepping stone for some people to visit the galleries.
"For some they don't feel artistic and it's a fear of the unknown."
Like the Rochester site in the old listed Conservancy Building, two rooms will be given over to a high-quality restaurant on Fridays and Saturdays with chefs already being recruited from top London hotels.
The £400,000 refurbishment includes a walnut-panelled wine room with marble finishing touches which will feature booth seating, and there will be an entire wall devoted to hand-picked wines.
Mr Sergejenkovs-Telford said: "I wouldn't say I'm a connoisseur but I like a good wine. I have sampled at all of the vineyards across Kent and also in France."
He has worked for Nucleus for more than 10 years and oversees the running of the other Chatham eatery, which is tucked away off Chatham High Street and opened 20 years ago.
He's also in charge of the Rochester High Street branch, which has celebrated its fourth anniversary, and the Military Road branch.
He said: "I feel I have an affinity with Rainham, even though I don't live there any more.
"We ask people who come to other sites to leave their postcode and 24.8% said ME8, so in some ways we have a ready-made client base."
Medway Council's development arm, Medway Development Company, is behind plans to build new homes in Chatham, including at Mountabatten House which the authority bought for £1.975 million. It's also overseeing the Chatham Waterfront scheme where 182 flats are earmarked.
A new public plaza, gardens and spaces for outdoor pop-up restaurants are planned for the area around The Paddock.