A new Japanese restaurant with a ‘small South African twist’ could be coming to Horsham’s East Street.
The former Horsham Matters store has been empty since earlier this year when the charity relocated all its activities to Redkiln Place.
Now a planning application has been submitted to convert the shop into a restaurant as well as using the basement floor area as a function room and music lounge.
The new business would be called ‘Minami-Za’, a contemporary Japanese dining establishment with a deli counter.
The application submitted to Horsham District Council, explains the new venture is led by people who worked at Wabi before it closed.
The viability statement says: “At the time I was managing Wabi - contemporary Japanese restaurant - 38 East Street so had done for the last seven years, so could not scoop up this rare opportunity then, although did offer my advice.
“However when Wabi had to close its doors early 2018 due to the freehold being sold to a new pub company, Horsham sadly lost a very popular Japanese restaurant concept that is sadly missed today by many of its loyal customers.
“This is when I looked at the site that was offered to me just once more and decided that we could bring back to Horsham a very popular dining concept in a new form i.e. with a small South African twist as Wabi has now closed.
“This was the conceptualization of Minami-Za, a contemporary Japanese dining establishment and deli counter, that in addition to the restaurant on ground floor would offer regulated entertainment in the basement as a function room/music lounge space for events and performances.”