Chipping Sodbury restaurant wins outdoor tables battle

A POPULAR Mexican restaurant in Chipping Sodbury is looking forward to a busy summer after overturning a council decision to refuse permission to use outside space for extra tables.

Last year, Amigos Cocina had used two parking spaces outside its  premises for four tables and eight benches to be used during good weather. But the restaurant’s application to Sodbury Town Council to use the space outside on The Pitchings again this year was unexpectedly refused in April.

Councillors decided that the space had not been well used last year and that the loss of two parking spaces for the whole summer was not justified by the amount of use by restaurant customers.

Owner Shamsi Kabbara organised a petition which attracted over 1,600 signatures, from people who urged the council to rethink – and at a council meeting in May, attended by supporters of the restaurant, the decision was reversed.

On the restaurant’s Facebook page where Shamsi told her supporters: “We got our seating approved.

“Thank you all for your support -we are so overwhelmed.

“A huge thank-you to everyone that attended the meeting and spoke – I did get a little emotional. 

“Let’s pray for some good weather now!”

Amigos Cocina is a Mexican family restaurant run by Shamsi, her husband Dave and daughter Yasmine.  

Dave received a double lung transplant in 2019, but despite the medical issues they have faced, the family have since built a thriving eatery.

The town council had said the outside area with four tables and eight benches, taking up two parking spaces, “wasn’t well used last year – and was hardly ever used during the day except on occasions when the High Street was closed to traffic for other events.”

Chipping Sodbury businessman and former town mayor James Ball was among those who baked the family, saying they had been “singled out”.