Kokoro already has outlets in 29 locations across the UK and now hopes to take over an empty unit in the York, Wellington Place buildings.
The chain serves Korean and Japanese dishes such as sushi, sashimi, chicken katsu curry, sweet and sour chicken, gyoza dumplings, and udon noodles in take-out containers.
He is applying for planning permission to convert the ground floor into a guest area with limited seating, a kitchen and food preparation area. The top two floors would be used as storage and staff areas, including staff washrooms, the manager’s office, and walk-in refrigerators and freezers. The proposal also includes a kitchen extractor system at the rear of the property along with new fascia signage and a projecting sign. If Hastings Borough Council gives the green light to the app, the restaurant will open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.
Kokoro – which in Japanese means heart, mind or soul – was founded by owner Rak-Kyu Park. Its first branch opened in Kingston-Upon-Thames in 2010. A spokesperson for the chain said: “From humble beginnings, the restaurant took off as people began to fall in love with our food. Now, years later, we have stores across the country and customers flock to eat our hearty soups and succulent sushi. Our focus on quality service, supported by the use of fresh ingredients and environmentally friendly packaging, allows us to meet the needs of the modern customer.
The Hastings unit was a former estate agent’s office, run by Property Cafe Ltd, and is in a conservation area. The York Buildings were built by William Ransom and William Ridley in 1811. They were originally houses and their gardens were in what is now York Gardens.
Kokoro opened an outlet in Eastbourne last July. It also has stores in Eastbourne, Brighton, Chichester, Horsham and Crawley.