A BRANCH of the national restaurant chain Frankie and Benny’s is set to open in central Keighley.
The eaterie has been announced for one of the units in the planned Worth Valley Shopping Centre in East Parade.
Frankie and Benny’s is the second major company to put its name to the shopping centre, following a 2012 announcement that Cineworld will operate an eight-screen cinema.
The £30 million shopping centre – which received planning permission in spring 2012 – is expected to house several major retail chains in 14 units between Cavendish Street and Worth Way.
No start date has been given for construction.
Solicitors acting for Frankie and Benny’s last week placed a public notice advertisement in the Keighley News, as part of an application to Bradford Council for permission to sell alcohol between 10am and midnight, seven days a week.
News of Frankie and Benny’s potential arrival was this week welcomed by Steve Seymour, manager of the nearby Airedale shopping centre and chairman of Keighley Town Centre Association.
He said that the restaurant would go “hand in glove” with the adjoining cinema.
He said: “Hopefully people will come in the town at three or four o’clock, do some shopping, walk into town, catch a film and get a meal.
“I think it will also extend the trade on Friday night from people who would otherwise go into Bradford or Leeds.
“They will come to town because of Frankie and Benny’s. If it’s full and people have to wait, they’ll walk across East Parade and pop into one of the other restaurants.”
Nick Ridisi, who runs Italian restaurant Amici’s on the other side of East Parade, said only time would tell how the Worth Valley Shopping Centre and its restaurant would affect his trade.
He said: “I think with Cineworld and a few restaurants opening, it will bring more footfall to Keighley.
“I don’t open at lunchtimes now, but when the shopping centre is open it might be worth opening because of the increased footfall.”
Bosses of Stainsby Grange, the company due to build the shopping centre, were unavailable for comment this week.