Peri-peri chicken lovers were delighted when Nando’s confirmed it was opening in Worthing last year.
But the ‘end of 2017’ opening plan did not materialise, prompting the Herald this week to ask the popular brand if it still hoped to come to the town.
Now, in a disappointing U-turn, Nando’s has confirmed there were ‘no immediate plans’ for a Worthing branch.
A spokesman said today (Tuesday, January 9): “We know that there are a lot of PERi-PERi fans on the south coast of England and we have been looking at Worthing for a while.
“While there are no immediate plans to open a Nando’s in Worthing, we hope to see local residents in our existing restaurants in Hove and Brighton for some PERi-PERi goodness.”
Rumours of Nando’s interest in the town had been circling for years – but plans to transform the Montague Centre into a town centre restaurant hub saw hopes intensify.
The chain was revealed as one of several top targets among other leading brands in a report accompanying the planning application.
Nando’s confirmed its plans in September, 2016, saying Worthing had been on its radar for ‘some time’ and it would open its doors at the end of 2017.
Mutterings a deal had been scotched in May last year were denied. A spokesman said: ““We’re delighted to be opening a brand new restaurant in Worthing at the end of 2017. Worthing has been on Nando’s radar for a very long time and we’re looking forward to hosting and feeding locals with PERi-PERi goodness!”
Worthing town centre manager Sharon Clarke said the change of heart was ‘bad news’ but talked up the town’s existing eateries.
She said: “I know that the hospitality sector is having a bit of a struggle at the moment and that many of the well-known brands are slowing down their expansion plans.
“Restaurants and bars have been affected by pensions, minimum wage, increased business rates and increased costs for supplies which means profit margins are being squeezed.
“It’s a disappointment that Worthing will have to wait for a Nando’s but we have over 150 places to eat and drink in the town centre so there is still plenty of choice to find something fantastic in Worthing.”
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