A town centre restaurant is set to double in size after plans for an expansion were submitted to the council.
Proposals from the Nepalese Nameste Cuisine – formerly known as the Gurkha Kitchen – in Week Street, Maidstone, would see it take over the vacant Music Matters store next door.
Nepalese Nameste Cuisine, formerly the Gurkha Restaurant in Maidstone Week Street, has submitted plans to expand into neighbouring Music Matters
The restaurant, close to Maidstone East railway station, underwent a refurbishment and name change in June after customers were getting confused between them and the Gurkha Kitchen, next to Maidstone West railway station a mile away.
The Asian-inspired eatery currently seats 32 customers but expects to have space for an extra 20 if plans are approved by the local authority.
Director Anish Prajapati told KentOnline the restaurant has to turn customers away at the end of the week and at the weekend as it is so popular.
He said: “We are okay during the week but at the weekend it’s so busy we don’t have any space.
“Music Matters decided to close during the pandemic and we spoke with the landlord about taking it over and expanding.
The restaurant is hoping to add 20 seats to its site in the town centreNepalese Nameste Cuisine underwent a refurbishment earlier this year
“We took over the restaurant at the beginning of the year when it was the Gurkha Restaurant and it already had a good reputation which has helped out.
“We have the same chef and staff as before which has helped.”
When asked about the current climate of restaurants in the town, with two closing without warning in the past week, Anish added: “I think the market is going back to normal and we should be okay.”
Nepalese Nameste Cuisine currently employs seven staff and is hoping to recruit two more part-time employees if plans go ahead.
A decision on the plans, which would see a new toilet, seating area and expanded kitchen, is expected in September.
The restaurant changed its name after customers confused it with the Gurkha Kitchen a mile away
If given the green light, the restaurant will be closed for three weeks to fit out the former music shop and hopes to be open in October.
You can view the planning application here with reference 22/503485/FULL.
The restaurant is also currently closed for two weeks as it installs new flooring.
Human Interest Kent Maidstone News Sean McPolin