Indian Mehfil owner Rajesh Sharma. The restaurant will be forced to close for two months due the kitchen floor of the Ipswich City Council owned building “collapsing”. Picture: Cordell Richardson
Indian Mehfil owner Rajesh Sharma. The restaurant will be forced to close for two months due the kitchen floor of the Ipswich City Council owned building “collapsing”. Picture: Cordell Richardson

Restaurant will close doors due to ‘collapsing’ floor

A RESTAURANT owner will be forced to close his doors for two months due to the kitchen floor of his council-leased building "collapsing".

Indian Mehfil owner Raj Sharma has leased the Ipswich City Council owned building on Brisbane St for nine years.

It is another blow for the Indian establishment; Mr Sharma said he had experienced between a 30-40 per cent drop in revenue since the mall closed and is struggling with a lack of foot traffic due to the CBD redevelopment.

Mr Sharma said the council had acted quickly to address the problem but work to replace the kitchen floor would force him to close for eight weeks.

He expects that process to begin in February with precautions being taken in the meantime.

The building is believed to have been built in 1878.

It will be an uncertain period for the business' 30 staff and Mr Sharma said he is working with employees to decide the best course of action during the down time.

That could mean lining up leave while the work is being done or organising shifts at his other eateries in Brisbane.

"It breaks my heart," Mr Sharma said.

"Together (with council) we are working for a better solution. For a long-term solution for the building as well as for the future of the business.

"After nine years we don't want to go. I hope it's not the nail in the coffin. We're losing a huge amount of money... obviously I have to bleed a lot of money (during the work).

"I'm seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. I think we can survive. We can survive with the community's support."

A council spokesperson said there are structural issues with the kitchen sub-floor that need to be repaired and rectified by council as the owner of the asset.

"Council has had the floor assessed and engineered the repairs to ensure the building lasts another century at least," they said.

"The work requires the removal of the entire floor in the kitchen and then replaced."

Responding to questions about potential compensation to Indian Mehfil while is being done, they said they cannot comment on "commercial-in-confidence matters".



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