An Indian restaurant, regarded as in the top 15 of Sunderland eateries, is relocating to Newcastle.
The site has been cleared and signs have gone up in the window of Papadoms in the Limelight complex in High Street West saying that it will no longer be serving Indian street food in Sunderland.
The notice reads: “Dear customers, Papadoms Sunderland is now closed. We will be relocating to Newcastle in the coming months after our Bradford restaurant opens in April.
“We would like to sincerely thank our customers that supported and visited us regularly since we opened. Without your appreciation of quality Punjabi food we would not have had the opportunity to grow and open other locations.”
The closure comes just weeks after The Place cafe, also in Sunniside, closed its doors for business.
Prior to Papadoms’ arrival in September 2015, the former Ask and Mex Cantina site had stood derelict for three years but shot to the top 15 on Trip Advisor’s Sunderland page in its new guise.
Executive chef and owner Sanjeev Sanghara ploughed around £150,000 into creating the retro Bollywood-themed restaurant, which was inspired by road side Indian diners called dhabbas.
He modelled it on a pilot restaurant in his home city of Glasgow, and hoped to use it as a base to launch a national chain.
Speaking at the time, he said: “It’s a great opportunity for us. This site appealed to me because it’s in a specifically-built leisure unit. Also the council here are similar to Glasgow in that they are trying to regenerate the area.
“It’s also a chance to bring a new style of cuisine to Sunderland. “A lot of the Indian restaurants are Bangladeshi-style food, this is Punjabi-style. What people perceive to be Indian food isn’t that authentic, but this is diner and street food, it’s what people in India eat every day.”