Restau­rant owner banks on fresh flavours of Med

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - News - By Ai­dan Bar­low

Din­ers can en­joy a taste of the Mediter­ranean in Ashford af­ter the town cen­tre’s lat­est restau­rant opened in a for­mer bank.

Shen’s Mediter­ranean Cui­sine in Bank Street has opened on a site that has stood empty since 2000, when TSB merged with Lloyds Bank.

Af­ter Lloyds TSB was bro­ken up in 2013, the TSB opened a new branch fur­ther up Bank Street.

But busi­ness­man Shen Sen, who also runs the Ex­press Cafe in the High Street, has now opened the Turk­ish in­spired restau­rant, which in­cludes up to 80 cov­ers.

He said: “It’s a very dif­fer­ent kind of restau­rant, I could see the de­mand for it in Ashford as it’s some­thing we’ve not had be­fore. It will serve mezzes and tapas style foods which will be home­made on the premises.

“I run the Cafe Ex­press and the Fish Inn in South Ashford and I’ve been in Ashford for 17 years, so I’m al­ways look­ing to in­vest in busi­ness here.”

He added: “I have put my name to this restau­rant be­cause I am proud to do so. Peo­ple in town know me and I want to have a good rep­u­ta­tion.”

Mr Sen is fol­low­ing in the foot­steps of the Que’s Smoke­house which opened last year at the bot­tom of the street and hopes the de­vel­op­ment of the new cin­ema com­plex will boost busi­ness and at­tract more cus­tomers.

Mean­while prop­erty ad­vis- ers Christie and Co are look­ing for a new buyer to take on Vin­nie’s Bar and Club on the cor­ner of Bank Street and Queen Street.

The prop­erty is for sale on a 12-year lease at a rent of £35,000 per year.

The new cin­ema com­plex in­cludes plans for up to eight res­tau­rants and a new Trav­elodge ho­tel.

The nearby Trafal­gar House is also set to be­come home to up to three new res­tau­rants on the ground floor, while flats are be­ing cre­ated above.

Pic­ture: Paul Amos FM4870604

Shen Sen out­side his restau­rant in Bank Street, Ashford

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