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

Olympian Louis Smith
COMING SOON: Five Guys (inset) is to take over the former Closs & Hamblin store

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

The restaurant will serve customers eat-in diners and takeaways.

The planning application for a new sign installation comes after the fast food chain obtained a change of use from retail to restaurant for the former haberdasher’s store last year.

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


…But Sainsbury’s is to close its supermarket café

Sainsbury’s has said the Tunbridge Wells café in its superstore is one of 200 that is set to close.

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

But Sainsbury’s say it will be opening new in-store food and drink offerings in around 60 of the cafés that are to shut, in 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 beginning of the first lockdown in March 2020.

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

It now plans to open 30 ‘Restaurant Hubs’ in Sainsbury’s cafés in the next year, and more are planned if the format continues to be popular with customers.

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

Simon Roberts, Sainsbury’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “As we go through this period of transition, we have taken the difficult decision to close 200 of our cafés next month.”

He added: “Through our trials with Boparan Restaurant Group and Starbucks we have learnt that we can offer customers a much better eat-in and takeaway experience working with partners.

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

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