Last week we launched our Back in Business campaign to help firms get on their feet again. JOE HARRIGAN speaks to the boss of one of Darwen’s best loved restaurants where staff cannot wait to reopen.

Indian restaurants have been a key feature of Lancashire life for decades and for many residents a night out, a birthday party or a works do wouldn’t be the same without them.

Fortunately for them, curry houses across the county are gearing up for Saturday and can’t wait to welcome back customers.

None more so than Anaz Indian Restaurant in Darwen, one of the town’s oldest and most beloved eateries and winner of several Trip Advisor awards.

Manager and assistant chef Nozrul Islam said: “This is the first time we’ve had to close in 38 years!”

He added: “We’ve had so many messages from customers about how much they miss us, some of them have been coming here regularly for over 30 years and they’ve all been telling us the same thing.”

Anaz staff have been working hard getting ready for the big day on Saturday however, as Mr Islam explained, for a restaurant with very high standards this didn’t present too much of a challenge.

He said: “Inside our restaurant is spotless, my older brother has done it.

“If it’s raining, thundering, regardless we clean the windows, the kitchen, everything and while it was closed, we were still keeping everything clean.”

Loyal customers will be relieved that Anaz has battled through the crisis, however the restaurant will need their support in the coming months.

According to research carried out by the Aston Business School, up to 3,000 of the UK’s 9,000 Indian restaurants could be under threat if they do not receive sufficient support.

Professor Monder Ram said: “A group of friends going out for a lively evening of entertainment finished off with a curry is part and parcel of the British way of life.

“If you take that away you’re taking away the very essence of what going out for a curry means.”

Curry lovers then will need to support their favourite outlets like Anaz to make sure that this way of life is preserved for generations to come.

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