City centre switch for Happy Samurai restaurant

The Happy Samurai is moving from the Marlowe Arcade to Butchery Lane

The Happy Samurai Japanese restaurant in Canterbury has moved to a new location.

It has quit the Marlowe Arcade spot which fronted St Margaret’s Street and is in the process of kitting out and furnishing premises in Butchery Lane.

The building it is occupying is the former Club Burrito which was following a Canterbury City Council probe for “shocking” breaches of its premises licence.

David Smith, who runs the Happy Samurai with his Japanese wife, says he is delighted with the switch to new premises around the corner.

“The Marlowe Arcade wasn’t really working for us and everything will just be better at Butchery Lane,” Mr Smith said.

Butchery Lane where Club Burrito will be replaced by Happy Samurai

“What was Club Burrito came up and I decided to go for it.

“This is a better location, a better building and one that will get far more footfall.

“The building itself is also far more suited to being a Japanese restaurant.”

Mr Smith opened the Happy Samurai in 2016 and carried out one refit in the years that he was there.

The Marlowe Arcade unit he had occupied was before that a French restaurant and and a patisserie and ice cream parlour.

Mr Smith says he hopes to open the new restaurant next week.

Club Burrito, meanwhile, was closed in February.

It followed a police and city council investigation that the premises was serving drunk people and allowing entry to teenagers aged 15 and 16 some of whom were travelling from as far away as Folkestone because they knew they would be able to buy alcohol.

Door supervisors complained that owner Luciano Serrano had not allowed them to properly do their work. A council licensing official also told a review hearing that the bar did not think it needed to abide by licensing regulations.

Club Burrito’s owners later rejected many of the claims made against them and their venue.


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