Dining capacity set to double at Indian Mehfil
MAJOR renovations will have Indian Mehfil Restaurant almost double the size of its dining capacity.
Owner Raj Sharma has just signed off on a new seven-year lease with Ipswich City Council on the building and has big plans for the iconic restaurant in the CBD.
The restaurant's seating capacity is set to go from 150 to 250 and there will be a new bar.
The function room's capacity will double from around 50 to 100, and new bathroom facilities - under construction, will also be built.
Mr Sharma will also open a beer garden and daytime café in the alley alongside the restaurant.
The renovations will be completed in two months and will have minimal impact on diners as they are being done in a staged fashion.
Mr Sharma said the expansion was vital to keep pace with demand.
"There are weekends where we struggle to seat people, so that gives us the confidence to expand the restaurant," he said.
"Our kitchen has been under the pump since we opened so this also gives us the opportunity to build a much bigger kitchen.
"That will cater better for our a la carte and takeaway customers and give us a good function presence as well.
"We are determined to ensure that during renovations there will be minimum interruption, if any, to the customers.
"On these cold winter days, I don't think too many of us can live without a curry."
Mr Sharma said the new beer garden and café would have "a really nice alleyway feel about it".
"Having it in the middle of the city will be wonderful," he said.
Indian Mehfil has a commercial hotel licence and offers customers the opportunity to order a takeaway and pick up a six-pack of beer or other alcoholic beverages.
Mr Sharma said his renovation plans were a vote of confidence in Ipswich and its people.
"It is important for us as a business and knowing that we have a long-term future in the city," he said.
"The Ipswich community has supported this restaurant wonderfully well and all our hard work has been rewarded."