Pepe's Piri Piri chicken chain applies to open an outlet in Bishop's Stortford town centre
Bishop's Stortford's restaurant revolution continues with plans to bring a nationwide fast food chicken brand to South Street.
SKND Ltd has asked East Herts Council for planning permission to convert the former Lifestyle Village boutique into a branch of Pepe's Piri Piri.
The flame-grilled chicken franchise network has more than 150 outlets across the UK from Aberdeen to Yardley as well as restaurants in Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates.
The brand was founded in 2007 with the opening of Pepe's Watford. Locations now include Hoddesdon and Cheshunt in Hertfordshire, Chigwell in Essex and Cambridge.
Gina Thomas, manager of Bishop's Stortford BID (Business Improvement District), which represents town centre traders, said: "It's great to hear another national chain has chosen Bishop's Stortford to open their next outlet. We're excited to welcome them to the town.
"We're very lucky to have such a variety of food and drink offerings within our town centre, providing something for all tastes and budgets and complementing the great retail and professional services businesses already here."
The town continues to be a magnet for restaurants, cafés and takeaways.
Cem Camak is seeking permission to convert the former White Stuff boutique on North Street and TUI travel agent in Market Square into restaurants while Celal Yildirim wants to welcome diners to the former Spirit fashion store at the junction of North Street and Hadham Road.
In its application, SKND says Bishop's Stortford, with a population of more than 41,000, is a prosperous town and one of the best places to live in the country with a "highly service-based economy".
The company argues: "The proposed restaurant will help regenerate the current building and help inject money back into the community by providing jobs to locals and providing a healthy option of food.
"The site is currently vacant and has been for several months. As a result this is favourable for a change of use."
It is proposed that the branch will open seven days a week, from 11am to 11.30pm, and employ 10 staff.
As well as piri piri chicken served in wraps, baps and paninis, Pepe's menu includes Mexican favourites such as burritos and quesadillas and features beefburger meals and vegetarian options including paneer wrap.