Top restaurant chain plans to open in Butter Market

A HIGH-profile restaurant chain is pushing to open in Chichester’s Butter Market.

Bill’s cafe, restaurant and store has submitted a listed building application in a bid to open a branch in the Grade II listed building in North Street.

The restaurant chain, which has seven branches trading across the UK, including Brighton, Lewes and Reading, has submitted the application to link the ground floor to the second floor by putting in a staircase.

A spokesperson for Bill’s said: “We have agreed a deal to take unit three on the ground floor and the first floor, we want the stairs to remain sympathetic to the listed building.” Any developments to the unit, which is around 3,350sq ft, cannot take place until the listed building application has been approved.

City council clerk Rodney Duggua said: “At the moment it is public knowledge that the restaurant does want to be be part of the Butter Market, the planning process can take up to 12 weeks.”

Bill’s hopes to open its Chichester store in September, however this is dependent on how long it takes for the outcome of the application to be determined. Bill Collison, founder of the Bill’s chain of restaurants, said: “I am Sussex born and bred so opening a store in Chichester was a natural progression for me. There were lots of towns we could go to, but Chichester has always been very close in my mind.”

The Butter Market in North Street was refurbished and reopened in April 2011. It is already home to other businesses including cake shop Patisserie Valerie and G H Pressley Jewellers. Concerns have since been raised about filling the Butter Market to capacity and as it stands, the building is half empty.

Rodney Duggua added: “Filling the occupancy of the Butter Market is good news and I think it would be great for the city.”

He added: “We have been through all the heartache of the Butter Market but the past is the past and we are positively moving forward and looking ahead to the future.”