A Soham-based businessman has outlined his plans to turn the former Thing-Me-Bobs store in Newmarket High Street into a restaurant.
Jack Shorney, of Regent Place, is the new tenant of the building and said establishing a new restaurant would ‘fill a hole’ in the town.
A licence application made for the premises had prompted speculation that the building might be turned into a nightclub but Mr Shorney told the Journal: “The last thing I want is people thinking it’s a nightclub. It’s absolutely not going to be a nightclub.”
He said Newmarket was in ‘desperate need of somewhere that’s a more welcoming environment, that’s not a rowdy pub’ and that his new venture would be a high end restaurant with an all-British menu. His licence application to Forest Heath District Council is to serve alcohol between 9am and 1am, with the option to open until 2am up to 35 times a year.
Mr Shorney said this would allow customers to eat late and mean the venue could be hired out privately. The licensing application also stated there would be door staff, but Mr Shorney said they would only be there at peak hours manning the doors.
“We have no interest in having people there who are loud and causing trouble. We are catering for people who want a calm closed event,” he said.
Mr Shorney, who said he had worked with Peter Jones from Dragons’ Den, said he had had a long-term plan to open a restaurant. And if the licence application was approved he said he hoped the new restaurant would open at Easter.
A separate planning application for the building has been submitted to add an additional storey to accommodate nine flats.