When the world returns to something like normal, a new restaurant called Island House is set to open at the former ASK Italian in Reigate’s High Street.
The business is a new family venture, set up by Jonnie Matthew and his wife SJ, both of whom have built careers in the hospitality and retail sectors.
Having leased the site after ASK closed in early March, they plan to refurbish the premises, with June pencilled in as a possible opening date – depending on social distancing rules.
Earlier this month Mr Matthew said of their plans for the site: “Island House’s ethos is centred around a vibrant neighbourhood environment with a passion for food, drink and a personal service.
“Influenced by global cuisine and inspired by local producers, our menu will be fresh and changing, from healthy options to blow out dishes.
“Our drinks collection will take equal precedence with great coffee, homegrown cocktails and well-sourced wine and beer.
“Island will be a truly magical place to hangout with enchanting spaces, brilliant music and charismatic people.
“Designed to be a home from home where you can stay all day, we will offer breakfast, lunch, dinner and drinks.”
The Grade II listed building, parts of which date back to the 1600s, has one of the largest frontages in the High Street.
Mr Matthew said: “The building itself provides the perfect opportunity to deliver a variety of experiences – our cosy, historic lounge will be the perfect place to relax with a coffee, our grand oak panelled room for dining.
“We have a beautiful garden which will come to life when the sun shines and a huge space upstairs for more private events.”
He added: “Our goal is to open in June, but of course we are restricted by the current situation. We really want to hit the ground running and be able to open once the social distancing rules are lifted and have decided to do a lot of the refurbishment work ourselves.
“It’s going to be a labour of love, but we’re determined, excited and can’t wait to get going.
“Having grown up in Epsom, Reigate has always been a place that we’ve enjoyed visiting. The town itself is beautiful with stunning historic buildings and we’re very lucky to be able to bring a new lease of life to this one.
“The community is incredibly welcoming with a bunch of great independent shops and businesses and we can’t wait to be part of it.”
The restaurant already has a website where people can sign up for updates.