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Plans to bring a touch of Japan to Cheltenham with new sushi bar

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: March 30, 2013

By LAURA CHURCHILL

18 Regent Street, Cheltenham

18 Regent Street, Cheltenham

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A TOUCH of Japan could be coming to Cheltenham as plans are submitted to finally bring a sushi bar to the spa town.

There are hopes to create a new restaurant and Japanese cuisine bar in the basement of 18 Regent Street.

Emma Graveney is behind the plans, which she submitted to Cheltenham Borough Council this week.

The proposal includes internal alterations to the grade two-listed building.

But Mrs Graveney does not believe the changes will alter the character of the building.

She said: "Because this is going to be a sushi bar, we feel that sitting at the sushi bar will enhance the experience because customers can watch the chef make up the sushi." Japanese restaurant chain Yo! Sushi expressed a wish to set up a branch in Cheltenham 18 months ago.

The team looked for a premises in the town and even advertised jobs, but the plans never came to fruition.

Stephen Green, from Benhall, lived in Japan for 18 months – moving back four years ago.

The 29-year-old said: "It would be great to have a sushi restaurant in Cheltenham.

"The town has a great offering of many different types of food from all over in the world and so it is surprising that there is nowhere to get sushi at the moment. I used to eat a lot of sushi when I lived in Japan and it is one of my favourite foods.

"But it is not the same from a supermarket and takes quite a long time to make, so it would be nice to be able to pop in somewhere and get some.

"Sushi is great when it's done well and pretty healthy compared to a lot of food on offer in restaurants, so I will definitely be booking a table if it opens."

Planning bosses at Cheltenham Borough Council have until May 21 to decide on the proposals from Mrs Graveney, who lives in the town. The basement of 18 Regent Street was a shop before it was converted into a restaurant in 2009.

Cheltenham used to have Japanese restaurants in Murasaki and Sakura, but has had none since 2008.

OPINION, P8

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