The Spice Lounge Gets it Right

Shah had been involved with restaurants for years but he’d never set-up one from scratch. Nor did he know Derby well.

But Derby’s Friar Gate area, with its vibrant night life, was the ideal place for his dream – a top-notch Bangladeshi restaurant to compete with the best Derby had to offer.

Shah knew what made restaurants work – Understanding the expectations of his customers…and exceeding them!

But he knew nothing about property.

A friend suggested Shah should take professional advice and recommended Chris Mills at Barlows. That’s networking for you!

A former Cantonese resturant was identified as a likley candidate.

The place had ‘Potential’.  It needed a full re-fit; an investment of circa £100k.  Shah knew he could make it work; he had a vision, but he’d never looked above the ground floor.

Friar Gate, is a Conservation Area close to the city centre.  By its very nature the buildings are very old.  

A lease on ‘Full Repairing’ terms was on offer; a massive risk on an old dilapidated building like this one.

The roof was on it’s last legs and had leaky old rooflights; definitely not what you want above your newly refurbished restaurant.

Realising a potential tenant could be lost the Landlord re-roofed the building.  This removed the risk of re-roofing from a potential dilapidations claim.

Shah managed the re-fit himself.  It was a steep learning curve and, at times, rather fraught, but I usually knew ‘a man who can’ to come to Shah’s rescue.

Now, some eight months or so since opening, The Spice Lounge is a success.  It was voted Best Indian Restaurant in Derby and I value Shah not just  as a client but as a friend.

Shah’s pre-lease survey saved him the price of a new roof and the potential damage and disruption to his restaurant that could have ensued. It also plugged him into a network of reliable local trades and professions, many of whom are now pleased to be customers too.

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