A POPULAR restaurant chain is returning to Worcester after giving up its lease in the city centre.

In an unexpected turn of events, Bill’s has sent an email to its customers claiming it will be opening again in Crowngate on October 1.

The email read: “We’re thrilled to announce that we’re opening our doors at Bill’s Worcester on the 1st October. Reservations are now open.

“Bursting with British flair, vibrant interiors, outdoor space and the freshest of seasonal ingredients, we’ll be open from breakfast through to dinner, and everything in between.

“With service still very much a priority, we’ll be implementing the highest standards of health and safety, ensuring both guests and employees will be dining and working with confidence and in a safe environment.

“We can’t wait to welcome you back as you reunite with family and friends over catch-up brunches and belated birthday lunches.

“Here’s to our new journey together!”

Back in July staff at Bill’s were told the restaurant was to close within the next month after the coronavirus crisis impacted the chain’s income.

City MP Robin Walker said he was sad to hear Bill’s was closing, and that he hoped all the affected staff could find work soon.

He said at the time: “I am very sorry to hear the news. I know it has been a hugely difficult period for the hospitality industry and we are trying as a government to do everything we can to support the industry with initiatives such as the Eat Out to Help Out scheme and the furlough scheme.

“We obviously want businesses to keep staff but there are sadly a number of businesses who can’t keep going and we need to make sure the support is in place for all the staff who might lose their jobs.”

A post widely shared on social media said the restaurant, which was given permission to move into Crowngate in 2013, would not be re-opening following the end of the coronavirus crisis.

A Crowngate spokesman said: “This is a challenging time for many restaurants and unfortunately Bill’s has taken the decision to close its restaurant at the Crowngate shopping centre.

“We will continue to offer our support and assistance wherever possible.”

Bill’s was unavailable for comment,