Alex Hole, owner of the Perch cafe on Lancing seafront, wants to carry out a number of refurbishments to the Art Deco building before it reopens.
Changes include extending the kitchen, moving the bars to locations more suited to a restaurant environment, a new corridor for the toilets and adding booths to balconies.
As well as a number of internal alterations, new kitchen extraction equipment, an illumination fascia sign and flags are also proposed.
An application for the changes was unanimously approved by Worthing Borough Council’s planning committee on Wednesday (October 21).
Officers confirmed that after talking to the applicant the size of the external extractor had been significantly reduced and they had received clarification about the internal layout of the building.
Gary Peck, the council’s planning services manager, said some of the internal changes such as removing some ‘ugly’ partitions would make a significant difference to the appearance of the building.
He added: “Its recent period of disuse has left it in something of a state and clearly not a building that fits with what we want to see at the end of the pier.
“This application does offer a significant opportunity to restore it to its former glory. Used properly it could be a real asset to the pier and the town.”
Councillors enthusiastically welcomed the changes and the prospect of it being open again.
Jim Deen (Lab, Central) said: “It really is an iconic building that needs to be brought back into use.”
He hoped it would be found to be viable and described it as a ‘big venture to take on at this time with the problems we are facing’.
Hazel Thorpe (LDem, Tarring) added: “It’s a beautiful building. It really needs to come back into use and I really think the company that is doing it have been very sensible and pragmatic in the way in which they have laid it out. It looks a much better business venture.”