Bar is given new lease of life as Nepalese res­tau­rant

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Pubs In The Spotlight - By Vicky Castle

Work­men have been spot­ted in the for­mer Mem­phis Bar as the new own­ers an­nounce it is set to re­open as a Nepalese res­tau­rant.

Susma Subba and her hus­band Ji­wan took over the Ap­s­ley Street build­ing last week and are pre­par­ing to trans­form it into The Gurkha Bhansa Ghar, which trans­lates as The Gurkha Kitchen House.

The res­tau­rant is ex­pected to open next month, serv­ing tra­di­tional Nepalese, Chi­nese and In­dian food and run by ex­pe­ri­enced restau­ran­teur Susma.

Hus­band Ji­wan said: “We had a res­tau­rant in Nepal many years go that Susma ran and en­joyed do­ing so.

“We’ve lived in Ash­ford for a while now and she has al­ways dreamed of open­ing one up here, it’s our home.

“We have builders in at the mo­ment com­pletely ren­o­vat­ing the place and it is go­ing to look com­pletely dif­fer­ent.”

The premises has been closed since Chi­nese Elvis left the build­ing, for­merly the Mem­phis Bar, ear­lier this year. Tang Ma, an Elvis Pres­ley im­per­son­ator from Hong Kong, ran the Chi­nese res­tau­rant with his wife Shirley left hand­writ­ten signs in the win­dows to say the busi­ness had closed.

Mr Ma, an Elvis Pres­ley su­per­fan, would dress in jump­suits and sun­glasses while he ser­e­naded his din­ers with songs by the King of rock and roll ev­ery night.

Be­fore it be­came the Mem­phis Bar, the build­ing was home to leg­endary al­ter­na­tive mu­sic venue The Or­anges, which closed in 2012.

But Ji­wan says The Gurkha Bhansa Ghar will be much un­like ei­ther of the for­mer busi­nesses. He said: “It is go­ing to be very dif­fer­ent. “It won’t have a big bar and won’t be a pub, it’s go­ing to be a tra­di­tional res­tau­rant serv­ing tra­di­tional Nepalese dishes.”

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