Zanna, the restaurant group behind Mughli, is looking for a third site for the contemporary Indian concept, as well as preparing to launch a new casual dining brand in Manchester later this year, MCA has learnt.

The group, which owns Damson & Co in Soho, Queenswood in Battersea, and Railway Kitchen in Alderley Edge, is also adding a lower-ground/basement bar to its Evelyn’s Cafe Bar concept in Manchester this year.

Director Haz Arshad, who runs the group with his four brothers, said contemporary Indian cuisine was still fairly undeveloped outside London with lots of potential for the new wave of operators to replace traditional curry houses.

Mughli, described as a Indian soul food with twisted cocktails, and inspired by the road side cafes and family kitchens of ‘Mughal’ India, has two sites in Manchester and Knutsford, with the group born from the brothers’ father’s traditional Curry Mile restaurant.

Haz told MCA: “Recent and continuing changes in immigration law, impacting on the number of quality chefs out there, combined with the increased cost of goods and employment have all taken their toll on the family run style of restaurants, and have resulted in the significant closures witnessed by the industry as of late.

“The rekindled love affair with Indian cuisine, in London especially, has brought about the confidence for operators around the UK to develop a more contemporary style of offering far from its former curry house legacy.

“And whilst certain brands have helped significantly in the strides to change perceptions, there is still a long way to go before this new trend becomes the norm outside of London.”

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