AN EMPTY shop in Marlow High Street, left vacant since last winter, is today reopening as a new restaurant after a £500,000 redevelopment.

Chez Gerard shut down around December last year after the company went into administration.

But the premise will again be a place for dining as Italian eatery chain Prezzo opens its doors.

Fifteen new jobs have been created.

The restaurant, housed in a Grade II listed building, seats 112 customers, with some tables in an outdoor courtyard.

The topic of restaurants, bars and coffee shops in the town centre is often a hot one with residents and some critics have said Marlow already has too many.

But Prezzo chief executive Jonathan Kaye said: “I am confident that Prezzo will prove popular with people of all ages.

“The restaurant will serve the highest quality food in comfortable and stylish surroundings and I believe that it will be a good addition to Marlow’s social scene.”