Plans to split former Merchant Chandler store in Ashford to make way for Georgian bistro Itaca’s and multi-cuisine restaurant Fusion

A Georgian-style bistro could open in Ashford town centre, filling part of the former Merchant Chandler unit.

The North Street building is Grade II listed, but developers say it is ‘rotting away’ and needs repairs to restore it to its former glory.

The site previously housed Merchant Chandler, then The Collection Ashford

The site, which more recently became The Ashford Collection, would be split to make space for the bistro as well as a multi-cuisine restaurant if two separate planning applications are approved.

Called Itaca’s, the bistro would create five new jobs and see the ceilings restored and marble and wood floors introduced.

The storefront currently has two Georgian pillars which the bosses hope to retain and restore while creating two new replicas.

Four of the interior walls would be removed to open up the space, while a new wall would be created to make way for new sanitary facilities.

Candidate Charlie Banyard said: “We have been in contact with Historic England and are proposing to restore this building to a traditional look with Georgian cornices and styling throughout – complemented by white and gold paintwork.

A Georgian-style bistro called Itaca's could open in the old Merchant Chandler building
A Georgian-style bistro called Itaca’s could open in the old Merchant Chandler building
What could the storefront look like?
What could the storefront look like?

“This is one of the first buildings seen on North Street when walking down Main Street and we believe this traditional look will enhance the original look of the building and retain the traditional look of North Street and complement the cobbled street .

“Overall, we propose to bring out all the detail found in the original building and restore it to a traditional Georgian look – for all in Ashford and the surrounding area to enjoy.”

In the adjacent part of the building, the multi-cuisine restaurant Fusion and take-out hopes to have 22 seats and serve a variety of foods ranging from fish and chips, Italian pizzas and Indian masala to name a few. .

Real estate services firm AJW-CS, which submitted the application on behalf of its client, says the changes “will have a beneficial effect on the building and will not detract from the historic character and significance of the conservation area.” of Ashford”.

Elsewhere in the city, the derelict Old Prince of Wales on New Street is being turned into an Afro-Caribbean restaurant alongside a number of other projects.

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