Top restaurant chain for town?

MAJOR Italian-American restaurant chain Frankie and Benny’s is looking to open its first North Somerset outlet in Weston, the Mercury can reveal.

The firm hopes to open a restaurant alongside a proposed Costa Coffee at the forefront of Flowerdown Retail Park, off Herluin Way.

Bosses say the 1950s-styled restaurant would cater for retail park customers’ food and drinks needs and provide an attractive outlet. The eatery would be situated in its own building, which would be the twice the size of a Costa Coffee shop next door.

Both outlets, which would share the same paved entrance, would come at a loss of 21 car parking spaces and some landscaping at the front of the park.

Agent Indigo Planning has submitted a planning application for the two units to North Somerset Council.

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In a supporting document, a spokesman said the outlets would support the retail park, and would not adversely affect trade in Weston town centre.

He said: “The units will function as ancillary facilities for the remainder of the retail park, meeting existing shoppers’ refreshment needs.

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“The provision of food and drink facilities such as those proposed by Costa Coffee and Frankie and Benny’s are commonly found at retail parks across the country and are widely accepted to be complementary facilities to the main retail offer.

“In this way, the units will not encourage a significant rise in the number of vehicle trips to the existing retail park, but will facilitate the most efficient use of an existing retail destination.”

Flowerdown Retail Park, which opened two years ago, is one of four out-of-town retail parks around Weston.

There are three Costa Coffee outlets already in the town, while the nearest Frankie and Benny’s restaurant is at Cribbs Causeway near Bristol.

The restaurant chain, which has 170 outlets in the UK, serves a broad menu of American and Italian food.

North Somerset Council expects to make a decision on the planning application by the end of November.

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