Barnard Castle restaurant plans to unveil new brand
By Martin Paul - Senior Reporter
A DALE restaurant is hoping its rebranding launch goes ahead on schedule despite licensing and planning application delays.
Spice Island, in Barnard Castle, is currently undergoing refurbishment and plans to unveil its new look on August 22.
Part of the development is a new cocktail lounge upstairs and an application has been made to change its licence to accommodate it.
However, there have been objections to the application because the entrance is via a shared access yard.
Since then owner Shuhel Ahmed has removed the access from the plan and changed the internal layout to include the entrance to the cocktail lounge through the downstairs bar.
He said: “The trouble we have now is that we are in limbo waiting for approval. Everything has stalled so we’ve made the decision to launch the new brand and restaurant, and when the licence is approved we will launch the cocktail lounge.”
“The shop front and other work will happen at a later date when the planning is approved. This won’t affect the restaurant as the majority are external works.”
Meanwhile the restaurant has continued to operate as normal despite the building work going on.
Manager Rhys Keeling said: “Our customers have been very understanding despite the ongoing work. A lot of people have commented on how we have been able to run the restaurant and keep it so clean and tidy. We also understand that it’s not ideal running the business whilst works are going on, so we are eager to get this finished. Customers are just as excited about the development as we all are.”
However, the restaurant will close for a week before the relaunch for the final works to be done.
The owners said: “We are hoping to close on the week of August 12 and just do takeaways.
“On August 22, fingers crossed, we will launch our new brand. The last day people can sit down for a meal in the current setting is August 11. It will be quite historic because that will be the last day of Spice Island as we know it.”
Along with the rebranding with a new name and new look, the menu is also being revamped.
Chef Milon Miah said: “We have done a lot work with Chef Nitisha, our taster nights with customers have been valuable and so far it has been good feedback.”