EAST Lothian’s first Pepe’s Piri Piri fresh flame-grilled chicken restaurant is set to open in Musselburgh early next year.
The eatery has received planning consent from East Lothian Council.
Young entrepreneur Atif Ali, from Straiton, is diversifying from his buy-to-let business in Edinburgh to open the new venture in the former Carers of East Lothian (CoEL) premises at 94 High Street.
CoEL, which supports all adults in a caring situation in the county to get information and services, has a new base at the East Lothian Community Hospital in Haddington.
Mr Ali is excited at the prospect of opening East Lothian’s first Pepe’s franchise in the Honest Toun, saying the size of the community was a factor in his decision.
He received the go-ahead to change the use of CoEL premises from office to restaurant use after revised drawings were submitted.
The hot food takeaway element of the proposal was removed and alterations made to a flue to protect the amenity of neighbouring properties.
Planners stated that the restaurant would not be “incompatible” with the established mixed uses of the town centre and would contribute to its “vitality and viability”.
Their report added that road safety hazard concerns, highlighted by the roads service department, had been allayed by removal of the takeaway side of the new venture.
It was noted that the restaurant was near bus stops in the High Street and it was deemed that there was sufficient parking nearby to accommodate demand.
Conditions have also been imposed relating to the extraction system and noise.
According to Pepe’s Facebook page, the eatery will be opening in early 2020.
There are more than 100 Pepe’s Piri Piri outlets in the UK, including in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Falkirk, Fife and Perth.
By Avril Campbell
Source: East Lothian Courier