A POPULAR Marlow restaurant will shut its doors for good next week, with several of its staff applying for jobs at its newest competitor.

Thai Square on West Street, which opened five years ago, has confirmed it is to close on March 9, to be replaced by French Bistro chain Cote Brasserie.

The chain, which has 18 restaurants around London and the south east, broke the news to staff last week .

Staff at rival Thai eatery Giggling Squid, which opened just two weeks ago on the same street, said a group of workers enquired about jobs at the new restaurant after hearing the news.

Giggling Squid spokesman George Shaw said eight former Thai Square members have now been interviewed, and is hopeful most can be found jobs within the chain’s nine restaurants.

Thai Square director Haim Damous said the restaurant had traded successfully during its five years, and that he was sad to announce the closure.

He said: “We’re very sorry to have to close. One problem is we have a very successful restaurant not far away in Windsor. It is very difficult to get top quality Thai chefs and we have new restaurants opening in London soon where we need them.

“We will be very sad to lose out customers from Marlow, I love the place and the building is beautiful but we look forward to welcoming them to Windsor.”

Staff will be offered jobs at new Thai Square outlets in London, including Fulham, and the company will retain the freehold of the Marlow premises after Cote moves in this spring.