Sunderland’s newest restaurant will open its doors tomorrow night after the transformation of a basement in a historic city building.
Around £600,000 has been ploughed into turning the empty basement of the Wearside Masonic Temple in Burdon Road into Mumbai Silk.
As well as serving as serving Indian cuisine and fusion dishes, the site also features Charlie’s Bar and is open for people who just want a drink.
The 102-cover restaurant, which has created 20 jobs, comes from the same stable as the successful Mumbai in Haswell Plough in East Durham and Mumbai Majestic in Hartlepool. Head of the family businesses is Syed Khalid Miah.
Khalid, who has forty-five years of experience in the industry, said: “On the menu we’ll have Southern Indian cuisine and dishes from every part of India and Bangladesh, as well as signature dishes and happy hour offers that are popular at the other Mumbais.”
Khalid has leased the restaurant from city businessman Russell Foster who owns the historic temple, which dates back to 1932 and is still home to Masonic Lodges on the upper floors.
Prior to Mumbai Silk, the basement was empty, aside from old lockers and a disused kitchen, but some of the more historical items, such as old safes from various Masonic Lodges, have been incorporated into the decor which is the result of six months of extensive renovations.
The bar side of the site, meanwhile, is named after Russell’s grandson Charlie Hird.
Russell said: “A lot of people still go through to Newcastle and Durham for a night out to go somewhere like this, but they don’t have to. We see this as a destination venue and it’s bringing something different to the area, with options such as scallops and lobster, which you don’t usually see on an Indian menu.”
The restaurant, which is being managed by Khalid’s son Tahim Ahmed, has seen the creation of a new entrance way to the site and Khalid says it’s been causing a stir.
The businessman, who sits on a number of voluntary boards including being chairman of Sunderland Bangladeshi Centre, explained: “The workmen have been in for a number of months so we’ve had a lot of people walking past and asking us what the place will be. We’re really pleased with how it looks, it’s something completely different for the area and we’re excited to welcome our first customers now.”