Levant Restaurants Group has expanded into Kent and Surrey with Comptoir Libanais, its Lebanese fast-casual concept, thanks to a £1.6m loan from NatWest.

The new funding has helped the group recently open new outlets in Bluewater in Kent and Chelsea in London, with a third due to open the second week of April in Kingston, Surrey.

Having decided to expand, Levant Restaurants Group’s Managing Director, Chaker Hanna, approached Nick Kalamaras, senior relationship manager, Hotels & Leisure at NatWest. Kalamaras was able to provide a combined loan as part of the bank’s Leisure Fund, which covered leasing of all three premises as well as funding for refurbishment.

The three new restaurants join a stable of seven Comptoir Libanais spread across London.

Chaker from Levant Restaurants Group Ltd said: “We are very excited about taking our unique concept into Kent, Surrey and Chelsea. Comptoir Libanais have been a huge success across London and we’re hoping to replicate that success with these three new outlets. Nick was a great help in securing the loan we needed to grow our business. His knowledge of the restaurant industry is second to none – we really consider him part of the Levant team.”

Kalamaras said: “I am very pleased to have been able to provide the financial support Levant Restaurants Group needed in order to grow and expand. These are exciting times for the company and I look forward to seeing it take its unique concept – and amazing food – into new areas.”