An Asian fast food brand which had thousands of people queueing for the launch of its first UK restaurant is opening a branch in Newcastle.
Chicken diner Jollibee is set to create 70 jobs in the city centre with the opening of its “flagship” northern branch.
Newcastle City Council has approved a planning application for a change of use at the former American Candy store site on Northumberland Street.
The brand, famous for its fried chicken 'Chickenjoy' signature dish, is the biggest fast food chain in the Philippines, with over 1,400 stores nationwide.
It has developed something of a cult following, with previous openings having seen 72-hour queues, outperforming McDonald's and KFC in its native Philippines.
The Newcastle store is part of Jollibee’s ambitious UK expansion plans, with a branch opening last month in Liverpool, and plans submitted for a site in Leicester.
Previously the business has said it also wants to open in Manchester and Birmingham.
Plans submitted to Newcasle City Council to transform a sweet shop on Northumberland Street into a Jollibee restaurant have now been approved.
A statement from Leeds-based RR Planning, on behalf of the business, said: "Jollibee’s success lies in a family oriented approach which provides a modern comfortable eating environment with affordable price points providing value for money.
"This family-oriented approach extends to providing a family oriented work environment and the company provides holistic learning and development opportunities, industry-competitive rewards and recognition, and an inclusive culture is built where people feel respected and valued.
"At a time when confidence in the British high street is at an historical low such investment in people and property on the high street should be supported."
When the first London branch opened two years ago thousands of people queued for hours to sample the chain’s chicken.
It is extremely popular across Asia, with more than 1,300 stores in the Philippines and a further 3,000 in 20 other countries.
Jollibee is known for its mix of American and Asian inspired meals.
One of its signature dishes is spaghetti in tomato sauce with slices of hotdogs and ground beef - usually served with fried chicken.
It calls itself “the home of the chicken joy”, which it describes as “crispylicious - crispy and delicious chicken that sparks joy”.
Other options include Asian Slaw, Tropical Burger, Mango Coconut Sundae and Asian Chicken Tender Rice Bowl.
The application says the restaurant would create around 70 new jobs and “create footfall on the high street from 7am to 11pm”.