A NEW restaurant serving brunch, sandwiches, burgers and tapas is to open on the site of the former Wildwood Kitchen in Abingdon.

Italian-style Wildwood in the Bury Street precinct closed last month after serving diners for less than two years.

It struggled to attract enough customers after opening in April 2016 and receiving an initial poor hygiene report.

Now the Lounges chain is preparing to open Pablo Lounge, a new restaurant, on the vacant site.

Community manager for Lounges Gemma Irwin said: “We are really looking forward to opening at 9am on Wednesday, March 7.

“The builders are hard at work finishing everything off so that we are ready to open on time.

“We are creating 25 full and part-time jobs and we are still looking for staff.

“Pablo Lounge will be open from 9am to 11pm Monday to Sunday and there will be lots of variety on thr menu to suit everyone.

“|Brunch, salads, burgers, sandwiches and tapas will be served and the restaurant will be child-friendly and dog-friendly.”

Ms Irwin said Como Lounge in Witney was also part of the Lounges chain, together with Pinto Lounge in Banbury.

She added: “Each restaurant is different - I don’t think it feels like they are part of a big company.”

The Lounges chain was founded in 2002 by Bristol-based Dave Reid, Alex Reilley and Jake Bishop after they spent years working in the restaurant trade.

After their first eatery opened in North Street, Bristol on the site of a former opticians, a second restaurant opened in Gloucester Road.

Abingdon Chamber of Commerce member Paul Townsend said he was pleased Pablo Lounge was taking over the unit.

He added; “It’s a shame Wildwood Kitchen didn’t work out there but the chain running Pablo Lounge seems well established elsewhere so hopefully they can make a success of it.

“It’s a very prominent location in the precinct so I’m pleased it is not going to be empty for too long.

“There are a lot of eateries in Abingdon, so I would have preferred a retail unit.”