THE owner of the new American diner in Christchurch has taken a bold step into the unknown by setting up the town centre business.

Route 66, a family-run restaurant in Saxon Square, opened in the part couple of weeks

Four weeks prior, Sophie Cardy and her wife, who have never run a restaurant before, saw the then vacant plot just off Christchurch high street and decided to take the plunge.

“This is our first business; I never thought I’d be doing something like this,” said Sophie.

“Around seven weeks ago, we were sat in Costa one day and saw that it was on the market, so we thought why not.

“We are trying to be totally different. We have redecorated and got new chairs in, and the tables have been wrapped in vinyl, but we want to add to the interior to make it more authentic.”

Since opening their doors to customers, the restaurant has seen a steady stream of customers coming to eat at their restaurant, which specialises in hotdogs, nachos and pancake stacks.

Bournemouth Echo: A selection of some of the items on Route 66’s menu, including loaded hotdogs, nachos, smoothies and pancakes stacks

Sophie said: “It has started off really well.

“Our breakfasts are very popular, we are getting a lot of people coming to us in the morning, and the weekends are absolutely rammed.

“Christchurch is a very small place, so you have to impress and get along with the locals.”

Having established their position in Saxon Square, Route 66 has teamed up with neighbouring businesses to encourage visitors to spend their money in the town.

Bournemouth Echo: Route 66, a family-run American diner in Saxon Square, Christchurch opened its doors on Monday September 27

Sophie, a mother of two, also wants to reach out to schools and community groups in the area to provide a fun alternative destination for parties and functions.

“We have made really good friends with Costa, and we have teamed up with Anytime Fitness to do some healthier items for their clients,” she added.

“We have also taken a booking for 30 school children for a couple of months’ time. They are going to be coming here for their end of term Christmas party. Our plan is to transform this place into a Santa’s Grotto with festive decorations.

“We are doing something for Halloween as well with face painting and pumpkin carving. We will be selling special milkshakes and other themed items.”

Route 66 is open from 9.30am to 5pm Mondays to Fridays, 9am to 5pm and 7pm to 10pm on Saturdays and then from 10am to 4pm on Sundays.