Successful restaurateur to open new venture in the heart of Chichester

A successful restaurateur has chosen the heart of Chichester as the birth-place of her newest venture.

Pranee Laurillard, who is also the founder of Giggling Squid, has had the idea up her sleeve for a number of years but said plans began to materialise last year.

Lime Squeezy Thai Kitchen will open in the former Wahaca site in South Street and is set to boast a fresh and exciting range of Thai food and Chichester has been chose as the first site for the new venture.

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The restaurant is aiming to open on May 17 in line with government's easing of lockdown restrictions.

Chichester's Market Cross

Pranee said: "Although it is the same person, it will be completely separate [from Giggling Squid].

"It will be quick and fast but fresh food and it will be more streamlined. The idea has been in my head for a long time. I have always liked this concept and I wanted to do it even before Giggling Squid. It is an opportunity for me to really do what I want to do.

"So I materialised the idea last year and started to think seriously about making it into a reality because there are so many interesting properties and it is such an exciting opportunity to get such an interesting property.

"When I first see the restaurant and it is all done and everything's there I will be bursting with excitement, and seeing the first customers coming through the door. At the moment its a mix of nervousness, worried stress and excitement."

The new restaurant will bring with it bags of optimism, Pranee said, following a difficult period for the hospitality industry.

She added: "[The pandemic] has been bad for the industry and it was very scary to start with but for us, when the lockdown started we kept optimistic and had to be flexible to the situation and adapt quickly and plan on how we can come through to the other end which I think is an enormous achievement and that has really driven our optimist even further."

Pranee said there will be 'quite a bit of change' at the site and said mezzanines will be built in the restaurant to give the space depth and layering.

At maximum capacity, the restaurant will be able to take 160 covers but, with social distancing measures in place the number of covers is expected to be about 90.

Lime Squeezy is hoping to hire five chefs, one restaurant manager and another 'three or four' full-time staff, and with Pranee back to running the show on her own, she said she feels like a 'one-man-band'.