TWO top international restaurants have signed up to Worcester's £20 million Cathedral Square in a major boost for the city's profile.

Asian restaurants Yo! Sushi and Kung Fu have both signed 15-year leases for the emerging development, and will open eateries by the summer.

The move is yet another significant shot-in-the-arm for the retail destination, meaning it now has just two units yet to be filled.

Yo! Sushi has agreed to take up a 2,750 square foot unit until 2032 on a rental starting at £107,500 per year, adding Worcester to more than 90 restaurants worldwide.

The company has been making waves across Britain for its famous Japanese conveyor belt where dishes are mechanically paraded around at eye-level, known as the 'kaiten'.

Kung Fu, which operates 21 Asian fusion buffet eateries around the UK, has agreed a 6,673 square foot unit at a starting rent of £145,000.

It comes with the revamped shopping plaza on track to be finished by April, before owners the Salmon Harvester Opportunity Fund hand over the units to each business.

A big re-cladding effort is steadily giving the old plaza a completely new look and feel, making it virtually unrecognisable to before.

The Asian eateries will join Ask, All Bar One, Byron Hamburgers, Cosy Club and Miller & Carter steakhouse as the restaurants already signed up.

Nick Webb, from Salmon Harvester Opportunity Fund, said: "We're very much looking forward to launching a revitalised Cathedral Square and are delighted with level of occupier interest in the scheme.

"We're on programme for completion at the end of April, for a spring or summer opening - the scheme is well over 90 per cent pre-let with only two units remaining."

Cllr Adrian Gregson, the leader of Worcester City Council, has hailed the latest developments.

"I'm really pleased – Cathedral Square is going to be the catalyst for a whole load of things for the city centre.

"It's a really exciting development, you can see the whole area being transformed almost by the day."

Gym chain Fitness4less, Wilko, Travelodge and H&M are also signed up and will open for business during the late spring or summer.

A big open piazza is due to be created outside the shopping centre later this year to finish the scheme off, in a piece of work led by Worcestershire County Council.


PART of the success of Yo! Sushi is that it is not like normal restaurants, with its distinctive 'conveyor belt' system.

Known as the kaiten, various sushi dishes and other Japanese foods are prepared in a kitchen in full view of customers.

They are then placed on the conveyor belt, which carries them around the entire restaurant in a circuit, allowing diners to pick off their favourites.

A label is stuck on each dish lid to indicate how fresh it is, and tell people when it must be eaten by.

The interactive method has led to an explosion of popularity in recent years, leading to the firm expanding across the UK and USA in particular.

The restaurant has also managed to run a master class called 'Sushi School' in its restaurants, giving people chance to pick up tips.