Popular restaurant at Broughton crossroads set to reopen months after closure

AS IT WAS: The Gate of Bengal restaurant

AS IT WAS: The Gate of Bengal restaurant

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A popular Preston restaurant is to reopen with its former team back in charge.

It will be a jubilant moment for restauranteur Iky Patel, who ran the Gate of Bengal Indian restaurant on Garstang Road at Broughton for ten years.

The restaurant closed on September 3 after Mr Patel claimed high rent rises demanded by Enterprise Inns gave him no option but to shut.

But now a new agreement has been agreed and a five year lease has been signed.

He hopes to reopen his business within weeks with a new name, a revamped menu and new decor and furniture.

Refurbishment is continuing and he pledged the new menu will still include customers’ favourite dishes from south Indian cuisine.

The restaurant at Broughton crossroads will be renamed “Touch of Spice” and Mr Patel said: “I was trying to negotiate a new rent ... it came to a stage where we had to just hand the keys back and close the doors. It left a hole in the community.”

He said pleas to come back had been posted by former customers on Facebook, adding: “The new restaurant is going to be bigger and better - big improvements are on the way.”

Mr Patel said his ambition of owning a restaurant at the site - formerly the Golden Ball, was nurtured during his time as a business management student at Lancaster University.

“Back in 1999 I used to travel up the A6 to Lancaster. I used to picture myself - my dream in life was to have a restaurant with up to 100 covers. I used to look at it, that was my dream building. In 2007 I did it.”

Now he also has Iky’s takeaway in Lancaster, Iky’s II restaurant in Highfield Road, Carnforth and the Shanti Lounge on Barnes Wallis Way,Chorley.

But the Broughton site still has a very special place in his affections.

He added: “I didn’t see why Enterprise Inns could take my dream off me which they did,... I got it back. I feel over the moon.”

At the time of the closure the Blackburn based restauranteur thanked customers for “overwhelming custom and support throughout the nearly 10 years of service.”

Enterprise Inns declined to comment.