Indian street food chain reveals plans for trendy Preston restaurant

Indian street food chain Mowgli will finally open a restaurant in Preston . . . but not in Friargate as originally planned.

By Brian Ellis
Friday, 7th January 2022, 12:30 pm

The company has revealed its blueprint for an eatery in Miller Arcade, in the former French Connection store on the corner of Church Street and Birley Street.

An application for a change of use from a shop to a restaurant has been submitted to the city council.

The news comes a year after Mowgli founder Nisha Katona re-affirmed her intention to launch in Preston, despite abandoning plans to be part of a new restaurants quarter in St George's Shopping Centre overlooking Friargate.

How the new restaurant would look (Image: Mowgli Street Food Ltd).

That ambitious project stalled after the centre went into administration in February 2021. But Nisha stressed she was still intending to open in Preston if she could find suitable premises.

Now the company has snapped up a prime street corner site in the Grade II Listed Miller Arcade and is hoping to open in the next few months if it gets approval from planning officers.

Mowgli Street Food was launched in 2014 in Liverpool, with Mowgli Manchester following less than a year later. The group now has 17 restaurants across the UK.

Ormskirk-born Nisha, who gave up her 20-year career as a barrister to build the food chain, is described as a "dedicated curry evangelist." She has her own YouTube cooking channel with an international following and has written a number of books including "Pimp My Rice" and "The Spice Tree."

Founder Nisha Katona at the Taste Lancashire Conference in 2019 at Holmes Mill, Clitheroe.

The group's website explains: "The simple dishes of a Mowgli menu are a million miles away from the curry stereotype. These dishes convey the truth that real Indian food is extremely healthy, often vegan and always packed with fresh flavour."

Last February, when the Friargate venture was halted, Nisha said: "If I could be in Preston I would be. It is NOT because of rents or any of our dealings with the wonderful city of Preston - it is because the entire scheme sadly stalled.”