WENDY’S is opening a second restaurant in Colchester in a show of “confidence” in the city.

The American fast food chain has confirmed it is taking over the former Next store in High Street.

An opening date is yet to be set but restaurant bosses are already working to move into the empty shop, with Colchester Council’s planning department receiving a bid for the chain’s recognisable red and blue branding to be installed.

Managing director Michael Clarke said: “We’ve seen great momentum in building Wendy’s fandom in the UK, and the love and excitement for this iconic brand grows stronger with each new restaurant opening.

“British consumers constantly ask ‘where’s Wendy’s opening next?’ and we’re thrilled to answer the call by rapidly expanding our brand presence into new areas across the country, giving Brits more access to fresh, high-quality food that they deserve.”

Gazette: Popular - Wendy's opened at the Northern Gateway Leisure Park in July last yearPopular - Wendy's opened at the Northern Gateway Leisure Park in July last year (Image: Newsquest)

The new restaurant will build on the success of the Wendy’s drive-thru which opened at the Northern Gateway Leisure Park in north Colchester in July last year.

The burger joint is also opening a new restaurant in Southend and welcomed its first diners at a new restaurant in Chelmsford last month.


What do residents think?

Colchester resident Ashley Piper is pleased Wendy’s is expanding into the city centre because he “hates having to drive to the stadium” but Sharon Everett argues “we need retail shops”.

City centre councillor Mark Goacher thinks “big brands filling empty units is a good thing”.

Gazette: Positive step - city centre councillor Mark GoacherPositive step - city centre councillor Mark Goacher

“It shows there’s a degree of confidence that these big brands do want to come to Colchester,” he said. “I’m sure I’ll be visiting when it’s open.”

“Colchester is an attractive place for these big brands. There have been a few losses like M&S but this shows it is a very attractive place.”

“We do need to try and attract more retail into the city centre. As a non-driver I rely on the city centre for retail, otherwise I go online.”

Next called time on its shop in Colchester High Street in 2022 but still has a shop in the city at the Tollgate Centre retail park.

Nearby Marks and Spencer also closed in 2022 before moving to Stane Retail Park after almost 100 years in the city centre.