Article by Guy Bell: Billericay has most recently welcomed the Card Factory to its high street, but the town is now set for a brand new foreign food restaurant.
The White Hart, situated in the middle of the High Street, pulled its last pint earlier this month and closed its doors.
But a Turkish restaurant will open in the premises later in the year and the owner, Olly Kemal, has confirmed work is underway.
[quote width="auto" align="none" border="#0066cc" color="#0066cc" title="Quoted by Olly"]The White Hart now closed as we have started refurbishment works. We are rebranding to a top quality Turkish restaurant with a cocktail bar upstairs. This will be located on the first floor of the extension we are building. We have pencilled in a late summer or autumn opening, as you can appreciate these things can take time.[/quote]
The high street in Billericay already boasts a rich collection of boozers and a fine set of Indian and Chinese restaurants.
Now Olly is ready to give the town a completely new culinary experience by bringing Turkish food to the restaurant scene.
[quote width="auto" align="none" border="#0066cc" color="#0066cc" title="Quoted by Olly"]The open grill will be located on the ground floor and will act as the centre piece of the restaurant. It will give it that real culinary theatre experience. The White Hart had become commercially unviable as a pub so was necessary to rebrand its use to encompass a service that is in demand.[/quote]
Mark Waller, who used to drink at the White Hart, admitted while the town loses another pub, it is a promising project taking its place.
[quote width="auto" align="none" border="#0066cc" color="#0066cc" title="Quoted by Mark Waller"]It's sad to see yet another pub close in Billericay high Street. I used to drink in there in the late 90s and always enjoyed their Sunday night karaoke specials. It's a sign of the times within the pub trade. I do, however, wish the owner Olly Kemal of the Turkish restaurant being built in its place the very best of luck with his new venture.[/quote]
Article by Guy Bell, Brentwood Gazette