An Indian restaurant in the town centre will be transformed into a ‘minimarket’, with an art/recording studio in the basement.

Gurkha Home, at 13 West Street, will become Gorkha Minimarket, which will have four retail units and a small restaurant, after the council approved the plans last week.

Pioneer Designs, on behalf of the restaurant owners, said: “Beijing Restaurant for many years has struggled to compete with the growing number of specialist and fast food restaurants in Reading town centre.

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“The current situation with the Coved 19 pandemic has had an irreversible effect on the restaurant with little hope for its recovery in the future.”

The plans were approved by Reading Borough Council (RBC) planning officers on Thursday, January 28.

On the ground floor, the restaurant’s seating area will become a ‘minimarket’, whilst part of the kitchen will be converted into a small restaurant within the minimarket.

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The basement will be divided into two sections, with one section providing stock storage space for the retail units and the second section providing a large space for a recording or art studio.

Pioneer Designs said the plans will help the growth of small businesses in the town centre and provide more employment opportunities.

Reading Chronicle: PICTURED: Gurkha Home on West Street PICTURED: Gurkha Home on West Street

The restaurant has had several names over the past few years.

In 2019, when it was called Beijing Noodle House, the restaurant was shut down after a cockroach infestation was found by Reading Borough Council (RBC) health and safety inspectors.

It briefly was rebranded as Beijing Restaurant and then again as Gurkha Home, opening under new management in October 2019.

RBC approved the plans on Thursday, January 28.