Ismail coffee shop triples in size as it moves into RVP food court

Cinque Ports Motor Company

One of Tunbridge Wells’ most popular coffee shops has moved to bigger premises after out-growing its previous home.

Ismail Coffee and Tea had been trading on Mount Pleasant Road since November 30 2007, but this Monday, exactly eight years later, they packed up and moved out.

The artisan hot drinks emporium, which is owned and run by Raschid and Gill Gibrail, begins trading from its new premises in the Royal Victoria Place today.

Mr Gibrail told the Times: “The previous space wasn’t big enough and we couldn’t cook there as the site owners Cotswold Outdoor are sell-ing clothes and the smell of cooking might have damaged their stock.

“The new space, unit 12-13 of the food court, Market Square, is three times the size of the old one. We looked at a number of locations, but this was a fantastic proposition, and we think we can bring some life to the square.

“Some people might think the food court means kids, noise and the smell of burgers, and be put off by that, but it’s a beautiful building and you can access us off Camden Road.”

Today’s opening will be a low-key one, as the Ismail team gradually settle into its new home.

Mr Gibrail said: “It will be a soft opening, there won’t be any fanfare, we’ll just open the doors.

“It will take us a little while to make the new, bigger premises fit. But hopefully everything will be in place by Saturday and we can have a bit of fanfare planned for then.”

The Times pop-up newsroom will be relocating along with the Ismail staff and stock, and a reporter will be on hand at the new location every Wednesday from 9am until 2pm.

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