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Japanese restaurant Kokoro could be coming to Newbury

A NEW Japanese/Korean restaurant could be coming to Newbury town centre.

Kokoro, which has more than 30 restaurants nationwide, has applied for planning permission to fill the vacant spot at 1 Northbrook Street – the former Ginsters pasty store site next to the Kennet and Avon Canal bridge.

The company, which was founded in 2010 by Ray-Kyu Park, plans to transform the interior into a sushi and bento café.

The proposed shopfront. (47797943)
The proposed shopfront. (47797943)

Its ethos is to provide “a range of freshly made hot food with a Japanese and Korean influence, with the aim to benefit customers looking for an alternative to the day-to-day pasta, sandwiches or salads”.

The application went in front of Newbury town councillors on Tuesday, who said they had no objection.

The site – which has two steps leading up and into the front entrance – will remain difficult for wheelchair users to access, as Kokoro says the building is “listed Grade II and the entrance steps cannot be re-configured”.

However, the company says in order to help any impaired or wheelchair bound customers “the staff at Kokoro are advised and trained to assist wherever possible with access into and around the café premises as part of their management policy".

Ginsters in Northbrook street Ref: 22-1521 Picture by Phil Cannings (47797941)
Ginsters in Northbrook street Ref: 22-1521 Picture by Phil Cannings (47797941)

It said: “The new counter is relatively low in height at 800mm which could be deemed acceptable for the purposes of service to wheelchair bound persons.”

If the application gets the green light, the site will become the restaurant’s 38th branch in the UK.

To view the planning application, head to West Berkshire Council’s planning portal and enter the reference s 21/01222/FUL.

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