A NEW independent Greek restaurant is coming to Reading’s town centre.

Tasty Greek Souvlaki's owners are expecting to open next month (February) at 20 Market Place after its licence was approved last night.

A licence hearing was held at Reading Borough Council (RBC) yesterday (Tuesday, January 14) to decide whether to approve an application to sell alcohol after a neighbour above the currently vacant store raised concerns.

READ MORE: Healthcare management merger across three counties backed by Berkshire West CCG

Neighbour Dr Katherine Brown said she was concerned about noise and called for alcohol to be served no later than 9pm though later suggested 10pm would be acceptable.

She said: “There are residents directly above and children above. 10pm seems a reasonable time for weekday restaurant closures.”

Anxhelo Mertiri, co-director of the restaurant, said closing at 9pm would lead to the restaurant closing as people would have to come to the restaurant no later than 7pm.

He added: “It is in our interest to run a healthy business. There are plenty of places were people can go to get drunk.

“We aim to run a family business. We are there to sell Greek food.

“We are doing all we can to make sure we won’t have any issues around us. No-one will feel or hear anything from us.”

READ MORE: Take a look at what Berkshire's newest fire station could look like

He said music will only be at an ambient level and staff will be fully trained on a regular basis and be sent to alcohol-related training.

Councillors questioned Mr Mertiri at detail on how the restaurant would be run, with Cllr Jeanette Skeats even asking if they would smash plates, an old Greek custom.

Mr Mertiri responded: “No. We need plates to run the restaurant.”

The restaurant will open from 7am to 11pm, while alcohol will can be served between 11am and 10.30pm.

The owners – including a chef with 20 years experience in kitchens in Greece – are now just awaiting planning approval for an extractor fan before they open the restaurant.

The unit was most recently MumMum, a Vietnamese takeaway and café/restaurant which opened in September 2018 and closed in June 2019.

Before that, the shop unit hosted Happy Pretzel.