A popular Indian restaurant has been put on the market after its 27-year-old owners decided to close the business. Namaste, in Hinckley Road, Leicester’s West End, has been listed by Kings Real Estate, which accepts offers in excess of £350,000.
The entire four-storey building is for sale, including the basement, the restaurant on the ground floor and the first and second floors which each have two office spaces and toilets, according to details. Despite the listing describing the upstairs rooms as offices, the property is advertised as having four bedrooms and claimed to be a “superb development opportunity”.
News of the sale caused local disappointment, with some former fans of the restaurant saying they had hoped it could reopen after a hiatus. The description of the premises also raised concerns that the premises could be redeveloped into accommodation, with one local resident telling LeicestershireLive that the area needed ‘useful’ local businesses, rather than ‘another lost building . “.
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A former Namaste regular, who did not want to be named, said: “It’s really sad to see it’s on sale. I know a lot of former customers who kind of hoped it would be mothballed. for a while, then maybe reopen when the economy picks up, but this looks like the final nail in the coffin.
“It’s such a shame, because the food was delicious, the service was good, and not long ago there had been a little makeover, but the interior was still traditional. I wonder if it’s was a bit old-fashioned for the younger ones.”
Namaste was opened in 1994 by Mr. Dey, the restaurant’s much-loved manager. The family business has become a local staple, developing a loyal following over the years who have become a “family”, LeicestershireLive reported when the business closed in October last year.
Another Hinckley Road ‘familiar face’ also bid farewell to customers after 60 years in March. The resident added: “We’ve also just lost the old Modino cafe across the road so another familiar face has left the area. It was really retro so maybe it’s another sign that this kind of thing is not popular in the world. It’s sad.
“I just hope the buildings don’t get turned into apartments or studios. There’s a lot of them around here already. We don’t need another building lost in studios. The local community needs shops useful and cafes where we can meet our friends.”
Another local resident and former customer said: “I missed the restaurant as I really enjoyed the food and they were nice people. I desperately hope this doesn’t become another vape shop. Hinckley Road and Braunstone Gate used to be a very good area, and it feels like it’s slipping.
“I guess it would be nice if another restaurant or bar opened, but I think we’re at the saturation point of the bar right now in terms of planning. I just hope it’s something with style and that brings something useful and interesting to If the place were turned into apartments, I think it would be a massive loss for the neighborhood, as it was once a vibrant enclave, and it would be another step towards the area becoming bland and faceless.