Ami Café + Bistro
Ami Café + Bistro
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Ami Café + Bistro

Ami Cafe 2
Ami Cafe 1

Ami Café + Bistro

When The Martin Sewell Building Company was asked for advice on how to transform an estate agent’s office in Worthing, the original plan to create a small cake shop suddenly mushroomed – and thus, the now popular 70-seater Ami Café + Bistro was born.

“Initially, the property’s owner, Tony Cohen, just wanted to dip his toe in the water of the catering world. His youngest daughter, Amy, dreamed of opening a cake shop and Tony wanted us to reconfigure the layout for this purpose”, Martin explains.

However, the moment Martin walked into the office in Rowlands Road, he realised there was vast potential to creatively re-jig the premises with a view to launching a much larger business venture.

“I could see that the space being taken up by the estate agent’s office could be vastly reduced, freeing up 2,200 square feet that would be ideal for a café and bistro-style restaurant,” says Martin.

Fired up, Tony and Amy agreed that this was the way forward – with Martin and Tony working together to redesign the premises, Ami Café + Bistro took shape.

“It was a steep learning curve since we’d never done anything like this before,” says Tony. “Martin did an excellent job of steering us through the numerous hurdles.”

“In this instance, it was a case of working backwards,” Martin adds. “The Cohens were put in touch with Caroline Wright of Niche Interior Design, who liaised closely about the look they wanted to achieve.”

With ideas formulated for an edgy, yet welcoming, feel with an industrial vibe, and planning permission for change of use granted, in January 2014, The Martin Sewell Building Company began gutting the premises.

“It was a huge job,” says Tony. “Walls were knocked down, the entire floor was dug up and the space was completely re-plumbed and rewired to make sure it came up to scratch, not just for building regulations, but also environmental health purposes.”

There’s no doubt that the result has more than surpassed all expectations.

“Thanks to Martin and his team, Ami has become a very popular destination café and bistro,” says Tony. “It’s also an even bigger dream come true for my daughter.”

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