Times are tough for both pubs and Indian restaurants, with dozens of old favourites closing down in Lancashire.
But two Chorley firms have come up with a novel solution – a pub/curry house merger.
The Hyatt, a once thriving Indian restaurant, and the Parkers Arms are joining forces to open as The Sizzling Indian.
“The Indian restaurant will be in the main part of the pub,” said David Benson, owner of Parkers Arms, whose plans include installing a new kitchen.
“The bar area near the fire, which I call the snug, will be open as a pub from 11am until 11pm. The restaurant will open at 5pm and all day on Sundays.”
David, who took on the Parkers Arms in June, said the idea for the partnership came to him when he was having a meal at the Hyatt.
“There has been very little footfall at the public house and sales have been abysmal,” he said. “I was out eating in the Hyatt and was talking to Manu and discovered he was wanting to relocate.
“He didn’t have any car parking space in Dole Lane and the door was straight onto the pavement. He was growing increasingly weary with it.
“There’s about 15 or 20 pubs closing down each week.
“This pub was built in 1820 and the rooms are big and the overheads for running a pub of this size are astronomical.”
New figures from the Campaign for Real Ale show that 29 pubs are lost every week across the UK.
Meanwhile Manu Patel has owned the Hyatt in Dole Lane for over 20 years.
“Unfortunately because of the financial situation with the recession its hard to make ends meet and we had to close,” he said.“David wanted to open a restaurant here at the Parkers Arms and I am running it on his behalf.
“Rather than just having a restaurant or a pub on its own we can combine and make it work with David’s know how on the pub side and my know how on the restaurant side.”
Manu says that with supermarkets offering more Indian food products and ready meals the competition is making it difficult for Indian restaurants to survive.
“The reason all the Indian restaurants are closing is because the cost of buying the products has become expensive for us,” he said.