Major restaurant chain launches first 'community concept' restaurant in Horsham

A major restaurant chain has launched its first-ever ‘community concept’ restaurant in Horsham.

ASK Italian says it has collaborated with local residents and producers ‘to put local community at the heart of its dining experience.’

The restaurant has reopened with a new menu after undergoing a re-fit and says that its Horsham branch – on the corner of Carfax and East Street – will act as a pilot model for others in the ASK chain.

A spokesperson said: “ASK Italian is on a mission to put local community at the heart of its dining experience” and said it was working closely with Horsham artisan producers to add a local twist to its menu.

Inside the newly-refurbished Horsham restaurant

Horsham Spirit Gin will now feature in its Lemon Drop Spritz cocktail and a selection of locally-brewed Firebird beers will be available.

The revamped menu will also support local charity Horsham Matters through donations and volunteering.

Meanwhile, Horsham-born artist Sam Flylightly has been commissioned to create bespoke artwork throughout the restaurant, celebrating the town’s shared features with the picturesque Italian town of Lerici.

Sam has also created portraits of Horsham heroes - past and present - including renowned poet Percy Shelley.

Some of the staff at the newly-refurbished Horsham restaurant

Digital content creator Katie Kirk who, living with a condition called Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, blogs to raise awareness of the condition within her community.

Restaurant bosses say that the refurbishment itself has been carried out using sustainable practices and materials - including a suite of upcycled products from ASK Italian’s inventory.

The restaurant’s new menu is said to ‘empower customers to make simple dish swaps to reduce their carbon footprint of meals.’

More plant-based options are available.

ASK Italian marketing director Corinne Prior said: “We want to be known as everyone’s favourite local restaurant: somewhere to gather, to unwind, to feel special and to return to.

"We’ve witnessed the community spirit in Horsham making it the perfect place to open our first concept restaurant space that takes the ASK Italian dining experience to the next level in ways that build community and are kinder on the planet.”

General manager Rafik Saoud said: “Horsham is a special place with a whole mix of people coming together in the town.

"We’re so proud to be re-opening our restaurant with new features that celebrate our locals and can’t wait to hear what they think.”