A JAPANESE restaurant and shop will soon be opening after empty units at Gloucester Green in Oxford are revamped.

Last summer El Mexicana and Combibos coffee shop closed and ever since rough sleepers have been bedding down in doorways.

But now they have been asked to relocate after the lease from the units was bought.

READ AGAIN: Gloucester Green in danger of becoming 'no-go area'

The front of the shop units, run by NewRiver, has now been boarded up, forcing homeless people to sleep elsewhere.

Oxford Mail:

Dermot McGillicuddy, who helps to run LSD Promotions, which stages open air markets in conjunction with the city council on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, said a deal has now been done for a new business to take over the empty units.

He said: “It’s going to be a Japanese restaurant with a store next door.

Oxford Mail:

“This is exactly what Gloucester Green could do with right now - it needs a boost.”

A Friday market started in April on a six-month trial basis.

The Friday market focuses on street food while market stalls on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday also sell secondhand books, records, clothes, antiques and art.

READ AGAIN: Friday market starts at Gloucester Green

A homeless man who has been sleeping rough outside the empty units, said: “We have been told it’s going to be Japanese restaurant selling sushi, with a mini market running next door - I think the man running it is from Coventry.

“We have been staying here but now we are going to have to go somewhere else.

Oxford Mail:

“I know there are shelters but I don’t want to stay there.”

Another member of staff from LSD Promotions said work was being completed to knock down a wall separating the two units.

He added: “Work has already started - it shouldn't take too long to fit out the units - the opening is probably about a month away.”

The former Fopp record store in Gloucester Green shut in February despite a rescue package for part of the HMV chain and remains boarded up.

Oxford Mail:

Shelving and other equipment is still being removed.

While some shops at Gloucester Green have closed the markets appear to be thriving, with street food particularly popular.

READ MORE: Yo! Sushi in George Street set to close as Glut gears up

There is a gap in the market for a new Japanese restaurant after Yo! Sushi closed its George Street branch in February. Sticks ‘n’ Sushi operates at the Westgate Centre while Wagamama is in Market Street, off Cornmarket, which has a Wasabi.