Celebrity chef Jaswant Mehra has launched his first Indian restaurant in York.
’29 States – The Indian Kitchen’ has opened its doors on Tower Street, opposite Clifford’s Tower. Jaswant and his co-directors Naiya Khatri and Arpit Arora have taken on the remainder of a 20-year lease on the premises which used to be a Chinese restaurant.
Langleys Solicitors acted on the lease acquisition for the three directors in their first restaurant venture. The business will create an initial six jobs.
Jaswant is well known in his native India where he has appeared in more than 300 episodes of a popular television cookery show. While working in the UK, he has been a head chef at the Yorkshire Aagrah chain of restaurants and was chef de partie at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Leeds.
He has also taken part in cookery demonstrations, appearing with celebrity chefs James Martin and Kenny Atkinson.
Naiya Khatri, who is married to Arpit, said the Tower Street property had great potential given its prime location in York. “We really liked the look of the premises and decided to go ahead and develop a restaurant serving authentic Indian cuisine with a modern twist.”
The ‘29’ States’ of India all have different flavours and cuisines which the 70-cover restaurant plans to add to its menu over time. The three directors are also investing in the refurbishment of the two-storey property which features a beer garden.
Naiya added: “We hope to provide our customers with a different Indian restaurant experience which is not all about curries as well as offering careers to young people looking to go into the hospitality sector.”
James Bradley, an associate in commercial property at Langleys, York said: “This is an exciting new venture for the 29 States team which I’m sure will attract interest from both tourists and the residents of York given its celebrity status and great central location.”