Five Guys set to open fast food restaurant in Mount Pleasant Road

COMING SOON: Five Guys (inset) to take over former Closs & Hamblin store

A popular American fast food chain will open its first store in Tunbridge Wells later this year.

Five Guys, an American burger chain, will open in Mount Pleasant Road on the former site of the Closs & Hamblin haberdashery, according to an approved planning application to Tunbridge Wells Borough Council.

The restaurant will serve dine-in and take-out meals to customers.

The planning request for the installation of a new sign comes after the fast food chain secured the change of use of the old haberdashery last year from retail to restaurant.

The burger chain has around 100 stores in the UK since opening its first in Convent Garden in 2013, but has more than 1,500 worldwide.

…But Sainsbury’s will close its café-supermarket

Sainsbury’s said the Tunbridge Wells cafe in its hypermarket was one of 200 set to close.

The supermarket chain confirmed last week that the Linden Park Road branch was among UK closures that will affect more than 2,000 workers.

But Sainsbury’s says it will open new in-store food and drink offerings at around 60 of the cafes due to close, as part of a deal with Boparan Restaurant Group (BRG) and Starbucks.

BRG is the group that bought Carluccio’s after the brand fell into administration at the start of the first lockdown in March 2020.

At the time, he managed to save 30 of the Italian-themed stores, but the Mount Pleasant Road branch in Tunbridge Wells was not one of them.

It now plans to open 30 “Restaurant Hubs” in Sainsbury’s cafes next year, with more planned if the format continues to be popular with customers.

At the same time, Starbucks will open in 30 other stores, although it has not been revealed which of the closed cafes will get either type of new outlet.

Simon Roberts, chief executive of Sainsbury’s, said: “As we go through this period of transition, we have made the difficult decision to close 200 of our cafes next month.”

He added: “Through our trials with Boparan Restaurant Group and Starbucks, we have learned that we can provide customers with a much better dining and takeout experience by working with partners.

“We are really excited about this new customer offering that we will be rolling out over the next two to three years in many of our stores.”

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