AN AFRICAN-themed restaurant established by the co-founder of the Koh Thai brand has acquired its second site.

Zim Braai is a “noveau African” dining venue launched at Ashley Cross in Poole at the end of 2018.

The award-winning business has acquired a second site, in Poole Hill, Bournemouth, 14 months later, after securing a loan from Santander.

Managing director Andy Lennox said: “Following the resounding success of our first Zim Braai restaurant in Poole the concept has been incredibly well received and with the backing of Santander and a loyal legion of customers we feel the time is ready to get our second site. ith the concept getting rave reviews, we’re really excited to see where it goes.”

He said the Bournemouth restaurant would be in a “bustling central location”, with a restaurant and bar seating 100 as well as a terrace for al fresco dining.

Mr Lennox said: “With African cuisine featuring frequently in foodie trend analysis for 2020, our menu and the concept having been relished by guests thus far, it means we’re ready to take it to the next level.”

He said Zim Braai was focusing on becoming a leader in “conceptual casual dining”, despite 2019 having been difficult for the industry.

Koh Thai was launched in a recession but grew to a 12-strong restaurant group.

Zim Braai’s menu is 95 per cent dairy and gluten free, with plant-based and vegan options.

“Whilst we are focused on meat, fish and plant in balance our steaks, ostrich and our homemade Biltong remain house faves as you might expect from our Southern African contingency,” said Mr Lennox.

The first restaurant, on Parkstone’s Commercial Road, took its name from Zim, for Zimbabwe, and Braai, a wood-fired grill where meat and fish are cooked. The menu was inspired by food from the whole of southern Africa.

Andy Lennox was one of three friends who started Koh Thai in Boscombe in 2009. He led a management buyout with equity finance in 2016 and stood down as chief executive before launching Zim Braai.