A PUB has taken some Asian inspiration to help boost its profits.
The Golden Lion, in South Hylton, has opened an Indian restaurant inside the watering hole to attract extra custom.
Owners Tania and Steven Hallam have invested £15,000 in turning the pub’s conservatory into Little India.
The couple, who have run The Golden Lion for about five years, said declining business encouraged them to make the move.
Tania said: “People don’t seem to have the money to spend on English meals. They seem to prefer Indian and Chinese, and hopefully this will help to keep the business alive.”
The couple has employed six people to work in the restaurant – which also offers takeaway meals – including tandoori chef Mohammed Sharif.
“The staff are from India and Bangladesh,” said Tania.
“We are very lucky to have found a very good Indian Chef – we have had very good reviews so far.”
Money is still being invested into the new business, which is open seven days a week, having already poured thousands of pounds into buying tandoori ovens, new crockery and decorating.
Tania added: “It was a big step and a lot of pressure to set up the restaurant. But I would rather have the pressure of being so busy with everything than worrying about how quiet we are.
“The pub is quieter than it used to be, and this winter has been particularly quiet because I think people stay in their houses more now.”
She said the new venture, which opened at the beginning of the month, is already proving to be a hit.
“It has been busy since we opened,” she said.
“More people have started coming in for English food now as well.”