A FORMER hardware store which closed last year after three decades looks set to become a Chinese restaurant.

Applications have been submitted to transform the old CJ's Hardware store at 125 Bournemouth Road in Parkstone into a Chinese restaurant called Moonlit Garden.

The proposed unit is immediately next door to existing Chinese takeaway Top Wok and around 350 yards away from fellow takeaway China Fusion.

Directly opposite on the other side of Bournemouth Road is an Indian takeaway, a Greek restaurant, and a fish and chip shop.

However, it is understood Moonlit Garden would be an eat-in restaurant capable of hosting 25 covers.

The family-run CJ's Hardware store ceased trading on Wednesday, December 7, 2022, after 30 years of business.

Bournemouth Echo: CJ's Hardware store, which closed in December 2022CJ's Hardware store, which closed in December 2022 (Image: Hugh Lambert)

Store founder Chris Joiner said the popular shop would close because it had reached its end of lease, coinciding with his hopes of retiring alongside his wife Maureen.

He also said the business had been severely hit by the pandemic, losing around half of its earnings. This and consequent rises in energy bills hastened Chris’ decision to retire, he said.

Moonlit Garden is represented by Maggie Lo Catering Supplies, a Birmingham-based firm which primarily provides equipment for Chinese cooking.

In the application to redevelop the site, Maggie Lo, said: “The proposal complies with adopted local and national development plan policy and will create approximately ten new jobs in the town centre at a time when the economy is facing significant recessionary pressure.

“This is a modest shopfront scheme that does not harm the setting or character of the local building.”

According to the application, Moonlit Garden would be open seven days a week.