A NEW Latin American restaurant is set to replace a city centre bar which closed last week.
Las Iguanas began recruiting staff for a new Exeter eatery several months ago, as the Echo reported at the time. But the location of the planned venue has been a closely guarded secret until now.
After the sudden closure of the Pitcher & Piano in Queen Street on Thursday, September 12, it emerged that agents acting for Las Iguanas have submitted a planning application seeking permission for alterations to the premises.
The company wants to repaint the shopfront and install new signage and lighting. It is also proposing internal alterations on all floors of the building, including works to walls, floors and ceilings.
City centre manager John Harvey described Las Iguanas as "another great addition to the Exeter city centre line-up".
The chain's impending arrival has also been welcomed by Echo readers on social media.
Ashley Walker posted a comment on the Express & Echo Facebook page saying simply: "Las Iguanas! Yeah!"
Tom Staniford tweeted: "If the jobs being advertised by @iguanaspeople are anything to go by, Exeter could soon be getting the one thing it lacks-@lasiguanas", adding: "I'll certainly be dropping by when I'm next back in my hometown."
Also on Twitter, Michelle Xie commented: "Excited about new restaurant. So very soon we can call Exeter a foodie city??? Will be really nice to have a foodie quarter!"
Exeter City Council is expected to determine the planning application next month but Las Iguanas has yet to confirm when the new restaurant will open.
Earlier this year the chain was ranked in the Sunday Times Top 100 Companies to Work For. Established in Bristol in 1991, Las Iguanas has 30 branches across the country, including restaurants in Plymouth, Bath and Cardiff.
It joins a growing list of new outlets heading for the city. Frankie and Benny's, Chiquito and a drive-through Starbucks are due to move into a new development at Marsh Barton.
The Pitcher & Piano replaced Chumley's pub in Queen Street in March 2007.