Indian Restaurant Fundraising Reading for Expansion Dreams

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The owners of an Indian restaurant in Reading have launched a fundraiser to fulfill their dream of moving to larger premises.

But now its owners Nandana Syamala and Sharat are asking for donations to help them transform the place.

Clays Hyderabadi is currently located in London Street, but the owners want to move as they have ‘overrun’ the existing restaurant space.

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In a post on the restaurant’s website, Nandana Syamala said, “Our existing restaurant is best described as an intimate space.

“There is no wheelchair access or disabled toilets, and we have outgrown them. Customers complain that it’s getting harder and harder to get a table with us, and we hate turning people away.

We also want to secure the future of our Clay’s At Home delivery service. We started doing this to survive the pandemic, but after making so many new friends and customers across the country this way, we don’t want to let them down now.

“Our new, larger home will have the space to allow us to run our restaurant and delivery service for the long term – and to create more ambitious dishes.”

Il Baron Cadogan pub restaurant in Prospect Street, Caversham. Credit: Google Maps

She added that the larger pub space would allow Clay’s to have two kitchens to diversify its offering, and a pre-stocked bar from which they hope to sell eight beers from “brilliant local brews”, wines, spirits, cocktails and regular hot food and cold soft drinks.

Ms. Syamala explained: “We would indeed have two new restaurants with totally different menus in one space.

“One would be a fancy dining room, with a menu similar to what we currently offer, where you can have a more structured meal.

“But we will also have a lively section with an open kitchen with counter seating serving snacks, imaginative small plates, street food and quick lunches capturing the best of Hyderabadi food and dishes from other parts of India, all with our distinctive touch of clay.”

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Clay’s estimated Baron Cadogan’s conversion work would cost £500,000.

The owners have already invested £250,000 in the works and are asking for help to pay the rest through donations.

Anyone who donates will have access to vouchers.

For example, a donation of £50 will give the donor a voucher of £55, and a donation of £100 will give a voucher of £110, etc.

You can see full list of vouchers on Clay’s website.

The owners did not set up a kickstarter due to commission fees and the inability to distribute vouchers to donors on kickstarter sites.

Ms Syamala said she hoped Clay’s in Caversham would be ready by the end of September or early October this year.

Baron Cadogan was a Wetherspoons until the pub company shut him down in March 2019.

It was reopened soon after by experienced owner Darren Brett, who ran it as an independent restaurant and pub until the pub’s two-year lease expired in March.

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