One of Lancaster’s most popular restaurants is getting back on its feet after Storm Desmond threatened to destroy the business completely.
Kashish Indian restaurant in Parliament Street is up and running again – albeit at a reduced capacity – thanks to the hard work of staff and the emergency services.
It’s a sight which company director Majid Choudry wondered if he would ever see, having witnessed the destruction caused by the floods of December 5 and 6.
“The flooding had a devastating and crippling effect on our premises,” Mr Choudry said.
“The floodwaters entered our basement on the Saturday at about 7pm. The basement is the heart of our restaurant. It holds the vast majority of our catering equipment and stock and everything suffered damage.
“Also, the fabric of our basement was damaged, and water entered the electrics.
“We lost all of our Christmas bookings, which was a significant loss of revenue.”
Despite rising floodwater entering the building, Kashish staff continued to work that night under difficult conditions.
“We finished off serving the patrons that were there on the night,” Mr Choudry said. “Everyone rallied to serve the customers that were there at the time.
“We had to stop taking any more walk-ins after 8pm, but we managed to get everyone out of the building happy.”
The restaurant closed that weekend for work to begin on repairing the damage caused, and reopened four weeks later, having missed out on business over Christmas and New Year.
“We have now reconfigured the building,” said Mr Choudry. “We have changed the kitchen round and had to reduce the number of seats in the restaurant; we are running on limited operations and the basement is still out of action.
“We are waiting on insurance and working closely with loss adjustors.
“But they have been very considerate of our circumstances. We were out of action for four weeks.
“We rely very heavily on our daily takings so anything that we can bring in is a benefit,” he added.
Kashish is now open and operating at up to 75 seats, instead of the usual 123.
“This will be for the foreseeable future, until the basement is up and running, which could be several months,” Mr Choudry said.
“Our service lift is out of action after being badly damaged in the flood; it is essential and has had a massive impact on us.”
However, Mr Choudry praised the work of everyone who helped out over the weekend the floods struck.
He said: “The efforts on the night of the floods were fantastic. There was a good co-ordinated effort from the emergency services, it was decisive action which was a titanic effort from them.
“We are also eternally grateful to Lancashire Fire and Rescue, who came and helped us out in the restaurant on the Sunday.
“Without that help that stagnant water would have caused much more untold damage; their work with us we will be eternally grateful for.
“We have also built up close relationship with trhe city council. They have been a tremendous support, and have provided a lot of guidance and support, especially the economic development department.”