Former noodle bar in Oxford could open as a new takeaway

Chuanxiang Liu has submitted two planning applications for 22 George Street, formerly Chozen Noodle, that reveal it is going to be a takeaway called Tasty Kitchen.

There are two associated planning applications – one for alterations to the shop front and the installation of a ventilation grill and mosaic tiling, while the second application deals with a new  non-illuminated sign.

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George Street still has a number of empty units, including the former Jamie’s Italian restaurant. There are also empty units close to the junction with Worcester Street.

While George Street includes pubs, bars and the New Theatre, it is mostly occupied by restaurants and a few shops.

Oxford Mail: Chozen NoodleNoodle bars have become increasingly popular in recent years.

There are often queues outside Ramen Kulture in St Giles, while other noodle bars in the city include Neds Noodle Bar at the Westgate Centre, Shoryu Ramen Oxford, also at the shopping centre, and Tse Noodle in Ship Street.

Last year building repairs costing £770,000 were carried out at the former Jamie’s Italian restaurant.

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver launched his restaurant chain from the city in 2008 but in 2019 it closed after the chain went into administration.

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The Jamie’s Italian on the corner of George Street and Gloucester Street was the chain’s first one and the chef visited on numerous occasions over the years.

Soon after it closed in 2019, The Real Greek, which has restaurants across London, announced plans to move in but since then the unit has remained empty.

Oxford Mail: The former Chozen NoodleThe city council said last year that a restaurant operator was ready to move in to the building, once repairs were fully completed.

City council spokesman Tony Ecclestone said last year: “The works are programmed to be completed towards autumn.

Oxford Mail: The former Jamie's Italian“We have a prospective tenant – the identity is confidential. The proposed use is for a restaurant.”

There are still no signs of a new restaurant operator moving into the premises.

George Street was given a boost last year when The Grapes pub reopened.

The hostelry across the road from the New Theatre shut suddenly at the end of 2021 but then reopened in August last year after the London-based Morgan pub company stepped in to take it over.

The Grapes pub building is owned by Oxford City Council.

The lease has been bought by Dick Morgan, the owner behind The Express Tavern in Kew, and The Sussex Arms in Twickenham.

The company also runs The Gardeners Arms in North Parade Avenue.

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About the author 

Andy is the Trade and Tourism reporter for the Oxford Mail and you can sign up to his newsletters for free here. 

He joined the team more than 20 years ago and he covers community news across Oxfordshire.

His Trade and Tourism newsletter is released every Saturday morning. 

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