A new luxurious continental-style courtyard café and cocktail bar aimed at tourists and locals alike is on the agenda in Kelso’s historic Horsemarket area.

A planning bid has been submitted to Scottish Borders Council by James Walker, the owner of Focal Point Furniture at 54-56 Horsemarket.

Mr Walker is aiming to diversify the business to provide “a truly sophisticated space” and create up to ten new jobs.

The proposal entails alterations to and change of use of rear parts of an existing shop and workshop to create café/bar spaces arranged around an enhanced external courtyard.

Alterations would include installation of new windows and doors to the existing buildings and provision of external enclosures for sanitary and serving functions.

The theme will be street food with the café bar providing pastries and breads from local artisan bakers.

Examples of food include soups – to change daily in the winter months, salads – hot and cold, meats, vegetarian and vegan;  Lamo Saltado – a traditional Peruvian dish with spiced strips of sirloin served with onions, peppers and Aji Amarillo paste on a bed of rice.

Also on the menu would home-made juicy burgers and vegan tacos.

In his supporting statement, Mr Walker states: “The courtyard will also have a vendor-style food container which will be available on summer evenings to provide a delicious street food style menu.

“I do intend to licence the café and obviously the cocktail bar but to make it clear that customers will be seated, the aim of the whole project is to provide a quality, relaxed and sophisticated environment to enjoy.

“Cocktails will be served in what will be a classic old school style cocktail bar inspired space with a luxurious interior and serving time honoured cocktails also offering the same menu as the café bar.

“The courtyard will have seating in the summer months and will be transformed into a relaxed, green and tranquil place to be enjoyed by locals and visitors alike.

“By using locally sourced produce, bakery, butcher, grocer and brewery, creating 7-10 jobs and even glassware to be supplied by a local agent, this will undoubtedly help the local economy.

“Creating this new and attractive space within Kelso’s town centre can only help the town’s appeal to tourists and therefore local accommodation providers giving a quality venue for their guests to enjoy”.

Daytime opening is proposed for the café bar on Monday through to Saturday, 10am – 4pm – with the cocktail bar open on the same days from 6pm to 10pm.

The space would also be available for private functions for a maximum of 50 covers.