A popular Italian restaurant is opening its second eatery in the town centre.
Pomodoro in Warwick Street, Worthing, will be opening a branch in Chapel Road.
Owner Memet Ugur said he aimed to open as early as Friday (November 22), but no later than the end of the month.
The restaurant would have the same menu of Italian dishes, but would open at 8am every day to serve tea, coffee and cakes. He had applied to Worthing Borough Council for a licence to open until 2am on Friday and Saturdays.
The 38-year-old from Bognor Regis decided to start a bid to take over the vacant premises after launching a new menu that proved popular with customers.
He said: “I realised I needed to have bigger premises.
“When this opportunity came up, I wanted to try my chance.”
According to Memet, the town centre eatery was the first Italian restaurant to open in Worthing, in 1974.
In 1999, it changed hands and became Pomodoro, and the same family ran the business until Memet took it over two years ago as his first restaurant, he said.
Memet, who has been in the catering industry since he was 16, said he would be keeping the Warwick Street restaurant open due to the loyal following there.
His customers included a couple married for 50 years who got engaged there, and a woman that lived in Australia who always visited when she was in England because her late mother took her there as a child. Memet said: “There are a lot of histories of people there, and I don’t want to close it as long as there is business.”
The premises were formerly occupied by the Aqua restaurant group, which also served Italian food. After it closed suddenly in May, there was speculation about what might replace it, with rumours of an Irish pub moving in fuelling the mill.