Bamber Bridge restaurant to make a comeback - but councillors to decide on alcohol licence

The brothers behind a well-known restaurant in Bamber Bridge are 'stepping back in to take control' of the eaterie - but councillors will first decide the terms for selling alcohol at the venue.

Tuesday, 21st August 2018, 8:19 am
Updated Tuesday, 21st August 2018, 9:50 am
The former Naaz restaurant in Bamber Bridge

The brothers behind a well-known restaurant in Bamber Bridge are “stepping back in to take control” of the eaterie - but councillors will first decide the terms for selling alcohol at the venue.

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Naaz restaurant set to close

The Naaz shut its doors in April 2017, after over 25 years in business. It has since traded briefly as Spice Symphony, under new management, but has been closed for much of the past twelve months.

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Throughout that time, however, the licence to sell alcohol on the premises has continued to be held by Gulshan Miah, the previous operator of the venue.

He and his brother - former Naaz chef, Dilshad Miah - appeared before a group of councillors in South Ribble, after the authority ordered a review of the permission which it had previously granted.

Members of the council’s licensing panel were told that the renewal fee for the licence had gone unpaid for over seven months and that there were concerns about the “opaque” management structure at the business.

Papers presented to the meeting reveal that the council had been unable to contact Gulshan Miah and, after the restaurant reopened, it appeared to be “run by a series of different individuals, none of [whom] were willing to take responsibility for the premises”.

A council officer described his “amazement”, on one occasion, at being presented with a helium gas cylinder when he asked to examine the building’s fire extinguishers.

The council suspended the licence for the premises in May for non-payment of the fee - but on a follow-up visit found a fully-stocked bar and staff who were unaware of the suspension.

The licence was reinstated after the bill was settled by a man described as a “tenant”, Enayet Ali - but no attempt was made to transfer the licence to him and he later told council officers he would be “walking away” from the business. The restaurant closed again earlier this summer.

At a meeting with the council last month, Gulshan Miah accepted that “things were not as they should be” and that he wanted to restore the restaurant to “its former glory”.

The condition of the kitchen - not regulated by the premises licence - has also been brought to Mr. Miah’s attention.

The authority’s Head of Licensing, Mark Marshall has recommended to the licensing panel that a series of conditions are imposed on the premises licence - including requesting proof of age from anybody who appears to be under 25 and a requirement that at least one personal licence-holder be present during trading hours.

Councillors have up to a week to reach their decision.

A sign outside the Club Street venue says a new Indian restaurant is “coming soon”.