One of Leeds’ largest restaurants rescued by director of iconic food brand
£3.3M site saved from closure
A stunning and well-established Leeds restaurant, which looked doomed to close its doors following a host of mismanagements, has been rescued at the eleventh hour thanks to one of Yorkshire’s favourite food families.
Rab Nawaz, director of the iconic Bradford food-connoisseurs ‘Mumtaz’, stepped in to reclaim the failing ‘Chandelier’ Kashmiri establishment, on Clarence Dock, which had been under third-party management since 2012.
A total buy-out of the premises, which at 10,000 square-feet and the potential to seat 250 diners is one of the city’s largest, means Mumtaz are once again at the head of operations.
The site - which was originally opened by the family-owned Mumtaz in March 2009 following a lavish £3.3 million renovation - initially stunned diners thanks to its black and white Versace interior, complete with ornate columns and a grand piano.
It won numerous accolades and has a list of regular celebrity diners – even HM the Queen has enjoyed ‘the Mumtaz dining experience’.
The Leeds-site was the first restaurant venture outside of Bradford to be part of the multi-million-pound Mumtaz Food Industries nationwide expansion plan.
However, as the parent company continued to push into new markets and overseas, Mumtaz Leeds was transferred over to a separate management company in 2012.
The name changed to ‘Chandeliers’ whilst still preparing and serving Mumtaz food in the restaurant.
Over six years on, Rab has now brought the restaurant back to life.
Currently busy revitalising the interior and remodelling the business ethos to fit the restaurant’s reinvention, he explained: “Mumtaz Leeds was really a labour of love for me all those years ago.
“Whilst we had to make some hard decisions of giving the restaurant to a third-party at the height of the recession in 2012, I never stopped believing the restaurant could be a huge success.
“I am now delighted to have personally taken back full control of the restaurant and the name has been changed back to Mumtaz Leeds as we continue the legacy of our brand.
“There have been many changes; the interior is updated, the menus are being revamped and we are looking forward to welcoming back our loyal Mumtaz customers, both old and new, over the coming weeks and months.”
Back in 2009, the Mumtaz group had dedicated 18-months in development of the Leeds site, with no expense spared on the designer fittings and Murano chandeliers - all hand-picked by Rab himself at the time.
Mumtaz restaurants were established by Farzand Begum in 1978 in a four-metre-square take-away outlet in Bradford. It has now turned into a veritable empire and is run by her three sons.